One of the best oracles of the future global economy is strongly linked to tourism: sales forecasts for passenger aircraft. To launch a new model takes years of development and requires vast financial and human resources. It is also subject to demographic, technological and regulatory uncertainties and all this much severely than in any other industry (except perhaps nuclear power), so a good crystal ball is needed.
Companies such as Airbus or Boeing plan in very large, 20-year windows, which seems like a task for fortune tellers. It’s interesting to read the latest reports (Airbus Global Market Forecast 2016-2035 and Boeing Current Market Outlook 2015-2034), and realise that both manufacturers have recently increased their long-term sales forecasts.
There is a very striking detail: sales will increase above all in the medium-size aircraft segment, those with only one aisle and which are assigned to short-haul routes. An indicator that the greatest opportunities are found in intra-regional tourism (within each of the world’s zones), and not so much in long-haul flights. A useful piece of data for the rest of us who work in the tourism industry.