By Max Kingsley-Jones in London

Boeing has increased its prediction for aircraft retirements over the next 20 years in its latest current market outlook, which forecasts demand for 27,200 units worth $2,600 billion.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice-president marketing Randy Baseler says the major changes in its latest annual forecast are the increase in retirements combined with a decrease in demand for regional jets. "We've accelerated our retirement forecast because we think rising fuel prices will see more older models replaced by newer, efficient aircraft." He adds that the retirement forecast has increased by 1,400 since last year to around 9,600 aircraft. The manufacturer is less optimistic about regional jets this year because it believes "that saturation in certain markets, such as Europe, will push some demand for large regional jets into the bottom of the single-aisle sector", says Baseler.

The regional jet forecast has declined by 10% to 3,450 aircraft. Boeing has increased its forecast in the 747 size or larger to 990 aircraft (including freighters), from 900 last year. Of these, 650 will be passenger aircraft, divided 50/50 between the 400- to 500-seat (747) and 500-pus seat (A380) categories.

On the other hand, rival Airbus predicts a requirement for 1,250 aircraft in the 450 seats and above sector.

Source: Flight International