Robust growth in India and China along with other emerging markets will be the major factor behind the increased delivery of new airplanes over the next 20 years. In addition to this, low cost carriers, with their ability to stimulate traffic with low fares, are growing faster than the market as a whole, leading to a strong demand to replace older, less fuel-efficient airplanes.

The Boeing 2012 Current Market Outlook released on Tuesday projects a $4.5 trillion market for 34,000 new airplanes over the next 20 years as the current world fleet doubles in size. The market for new airplanes is set to become more geographically balanced in the next two decades. Asia-Pacific, including India and China, will continue to lead the way in total airplane deliveries.

“It’s incredible to see just how much air travel has changed since I took my first flight back in 1977, says Randy Tinseth, Vice-President, Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It has become critical to business, and something we do for pleasure, to connect with family and friends. As the market continues to grow, especially in emerging economies, air travel will become affordable to even more people,” he added.

Airline traffic is forecast to grow at a 5 per cent annual rate over the next two decades, with cargo traffic projected to grow at an annual rate of 5.2 per cent. The single-aisle market, served by Boeing’s Next-Generation 737 and the future 737 MAX, will continue its robust growth. Wide bodies, such as Boeing’s 747-8, 777 and 787 Dreamliner, will account for almost $2.5 trillion worth of new airplane deliveries with 40 per cent of the demand for these long-range airplanes coming from Asian airlines.

As the cargo market remains sluggish, Boeing has revised downward its projection for freighters over the next 20 years. Still, the world freighter fleet is projected to nearly double from 1,740 aircraft today to 3,200 at the end of the forecast period.