Airlines will order 6,800 small single-aisle aircraft over the next 20 years, Bombardier says in a new market forecast released on 12 September.
The new projection indicates a 2.8% decline in Bombardier’s projection of demand over the next 20 years for the small, single-aisle segment, which includes the company’s CSeries aircraft family in the 100-150 seat segment.
Bombardier’s market forecast issued in 2015 anticipated deliveries of 7,000 new aircraft in the small, single-aisle category through 2034.
Bracketed by regional jets below 100 seats and large single-aisles over 150s, demand in the 100-150 seat category over the next 20 years will be driven by several factors. A severe shortage of regional jet pilots in the US will push airlines to buy larger aircraft, says Ross Mitchell, vice-president of commercial operations.
At the same time, airlines will seek smaller aircraft to penetrate into new markets for intra-regional capacity, which will account for 82% of all passenger traffic in 2036, says Mitchell, speaking to journalists to open a day-long Aero Perspectives 2017 media event at Bombardier’s commercial aircraft factory in Mirabel.
Despite the slight decline in forecasted demand, Bombardier thinks the market opportunity is wide open. Airbus and Boeing have amassed a combined five-digit backlog for re-engined A320s and 737s, but have collected orders so far from only 18-20% of their existing customers in the single-aisle segment, Mitchell says.
“There’s a lot of market to capture out the in the small single aisle market,” Mitchell says.
Bombardier’s 20-year forecast also projects demand for 6,950 deliveries in the 60- to 100-seat segment, which compares to 6,900 deliveries through 2034 that Bombardier anticipated in the 2015 survey.