The largest industry segment is single aisle jetliners. Deliveries increased by more than 40% in 2021 and will increase another 40+% in 2022. This is largely driven by the very strong domestic market recovery we’ve seen in North America and China. Also, there’s the impact of Boeing 737 MAX production and deliveries resuming, with a goal of 31 new build jets per month next year, in addition to deliveries of already-built MAXs.
Airbus, meanwhile, is aiming for record single-aisle rates. A320 family output was cut to 40 per month during the pandemic, but the manufacturer delivered 58 in November 2021. It’s aiming for a monthly rate of 64 by mid-2023 and possibly 70 to 75 in the following years.
Twin aisle jets are the only exception to this positive view. There was a widebody overcapacity problem before the pandemic. Also, this segment depends on international air traffic, which was hit hardest and is taking longest to recover. Meanwhile, the pandemic saw an acceleration in the shift toward single aisles, particularly Airbus’ A321neo, for international routes.
Some of the planes in our recovery forecast don’t involve new manufacturing. This year will see deliveries of scores of 787s and hundreds of 737 MAXs that were already built, so the supplier base won’t benefit much from them. Inflation could also impact supplier profitability. If inflation persists, interest rates will rise, impacting jetliner financing. If the Omicron variant or another COVID variant causes shutdowns, closed borders and another air traffic slump, some airlines and suppliers could prove unable to withstand another major crisis.
But as of this writing, the COVID-19 aviation downturn looks set to be remembered as shorter-lived and more sector-specific than originally feared. After falling off a cliff, the industry is heading sharply up.
Figure X: World Aircraft Deliveries by Value
Source: AeroDynamic Advisory
The Carbon Fiber Market
By Dr. Sanjay Mazumdar, CEO
Carbon fiber has come a long way over the years, impacting almost every market from aerospace to automotive and sporting goods. The key advantages of carbon fiber are high tensile strength, high stiffness, low density and a high chemical resistance, which lead to increased utilization in various sectors. Between 2010 and 2019, the carbon fiber industry experienced uninterrupted growth, with demand increasing from 82.3 million pounds in 2010 to more than 192 million pounds ($2.6 billion) in 2019.