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Bombardier downgrades 20-year forecast

Montreal aerospace manufacturer expects small plane deliveries to fall by 2.3%.


June 19, 2012
by The Canadian Press

MONTREAL: Bombardier has decreased its 20-year industry forecast for deliveries of small- and medium-size commercial aircraft due the global economic slowdown that has tempered the aerospace recovery.

The world’s third-largest aircraft manufacturer expects deliveries in the 20- to 149-seat category will fall by 2.3% to 12,800 planes, worth US$630 billion.

The main driver behind the decrease of 300 units is reduced growth in global gross domestic product, Bombardier said.

The Quebec-based manufacturer said more than 70% of the demand in the next two decades is expected to come in the 100- to 149-seat category, which includes Bombardier’s CSeries.

Deliveries of those aircraft are expected to be worth US$449 billion between 2012 to 2031, with demand increasingly shifting to emerging markets.

Still, Bombardier believes it will capture half of the available 100- to 149-seat market. It expects more than half of the current global aircraft fleet to be replaced over the next 20 years, a slight increase from last year.

Bombardier issued its market forecast at a conference for the media and industry analysts ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow in July.

“Overall, market drivers show positive trends both in the most recent past and over the 20-year period,” said Mairead Lavery, Bombardieer’s vice-president strategy, business development and structured finance.

The latest market forecast includes an 18 per cent increase to 2012 fuel costs, the largest cost for airlines and a threat to their profitability.

The company said China will be the world’s second-largest market with 2,200 deliveries through 2031, topped only by the United States, which will lead with 4,730 expected deliveries.

Europe and Russia will trail with 2,240 units.

The forecast for business jets is unchanged from last year at 24,000 units worth about US$648 billion.

Bombardier is the world’s largest business jet manufacturer with a 38% market share.

It expects 9,800 deliveries worth US$266 billion over the next decade and 14,200 deliveries worth US$382 billion between 2022 and 2031.

The large-cabin business jet market, for which Bombardier has several products in development, is expected to remain strong.

North America is expected to take 9,500 business aircraft through 2031, followed by Europe, with 3,920 aircraft.

China will become the third-largest market for business jet deliveries, with 2,420 planes. Bombardier said.

“We continue to be surprised by the upside in the Chinese market,” Lavery said.

However, the one downside risk is the financial crisis in Europe where there is a large installed base for business aircraft.

©The Canadian Press