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Based On Strong Demand, Boeing Boosts Southeast Asia Order Forecast

Based On Strong Demand, Boeing Boosts Southeast Asia Order Forecast
Driven by low-cost carriers making travel more accessible in the Southeast Asian regions, in what is being touted as the largest jump of any global region, Boeing Co said on Friday it had increased its 20-year forecast for the regions’ demand by 460 aircraft.
Basing its predictions on an estimate of an annual traffic growth of 6.2 percent in the region, Boeing sees demand for 4,210 new airplanes from the region which would be worth $650 billion over the next two decades.
“Look at countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia - that infrastructure has to grow and will grow,” said Dinesh Keskar, Boeing’s vice president for Asia-Pacific and India sales.
“Aviation is the biggest source of tourism for the countries, it is the biggest source of moving people and moving cargo.”
Due to the fact that the North American and European markets are more mature with far lower growth rates, Southeast Asia is taking on greater importance for Boeing and Airbus SE because it is home to rapidly growing low-cost carriers like Indonesia’s Lion Air, Vietnam’s Vietjet and Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd.
Due to the anticipations that most travel in the Southeast Asian region is expected to be short-haul, more than 70 percent of new deliveries of aircrafts would be accounted for by single-aisle airplanes like the 737 MAX and Airbus SE A320, Keskar said.
This is one market where China is also trying to compete in. 730 orders to date have reportedly been received for the C919 narrowbody, which took its first test flight in May.
“Certainly we watch that, we watch our competition,” Keskar said of the C919. “We try to bring products which are superior with lower seat mile cost, better fuel burn and a better passenger experience.”
But the countries of Myanmar, Cambodia or Laos have less developed aviation sectors than neighboring countries like Thailand and Vietnam and therefore the Boeing forecast does not include any deliveries to these countries.
The European manufacturer Airbus expected annual passenger growth of 7 percent a year over the next 20 years, a spokesperson for the company said even though Airbus has not released a specific order forecast for Southeast Asia.
Over the next two decades, the demand for new aircrafts is pegged at 41,030 by Boeing. The company has not yet given breakdowns for each global region even though it sees demand jumping the most in Southeast Asia.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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