MONTREAL (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc´s aerospace unit said on Wednesday it has significantly raised its long-term forecasts of global demand for business jets, and for a range of airliners that can seat 20 to 149 passengers.
Bombardier Aerospace, the world´s third-largest civil aircraft maker, expects the industry to deliver 1,320 business jets annually from 2008 to 2017, for a total of 13,200 units worth $ 300 billion.
In dollar terms, that is some 30 percent above last year´s forecast, when Bombardier was calling for 9,950 deliveries worth $ 230 billion for the 10-year period of 2007-2016. A technician poses at the Bombardier plant in Hennigsdorf, near Berlin, November 8, 2007.
Business jet deliveries averaged 620 a year, on average, from 1998 to 2007.
Bombardier forecast global demand for 20- to 149-seat commercial passenger aircraft at 12,900 units worth $ 528 billion, in the 20-year period from 2008 to 2027, up 34 percent in dollar value from last year´s forecast for 11,200 units worth $393 billion for 2007-2026.
Jacques Kavafian, analyst at Research Capital, said many commercial aircraft orders are coming from countries other than the United States and that should buoy the market over the longer term.
"Because the aerospace industry is no longer dependent on the whims of the U.S. economy, we believe this will be a permanent growth cycle extending to at least 2020," Kavafian wrote in a recent research report.
Bombardier´s forecasts, prepared ahead of the July 14-20 Farnborough International AirShow, did not include a specific outlook for its own business and commercial aircraft segments.
It said 2007 was a record year for revenues, deliveries, orders and industry backlog for business jets.
"Driven by international markets, the worldwide business jet fleet is forecasted to nearly double in size over the next 10 years," Bombardier said.
Some 20 business aircraft models are under development for potential entry into service over the next 10 years, Bombardier said.
Its competitors include Embraer , Textron´s Cessna, Dassault Aviation , General Dynamics Corp´s Gulfstream and the Hawker Beechcraft business owned by Onex Partners and GS Capital.
Bombardier products include the Challenger, Learjet and Global brands.
In the regional jet market, where Embraer is Bombardier´s top competitor, more rivals are set to emerge, such as China´s AVIC-1, Japan´s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Russia´s Sukhoi.
Bombardier said regional airlines should continue to gain access to lending and leasing markets for aircraft, although credit market turmoil could affect airlines´ ability to obtain permanent financing.
Based on growth in demand for air travel, the worldwide fleet of aircraft with 20 to 149 seats should increase to 17,300 units by 2027 from 11,000 in 2007, Bombardier said.
Older aircraft will need to be replaced as carriers seek more fuel-efficient and higher-capacity models, it added.
Bombardier is expected to decide this year on whether it will launch the $ 3.2 billion development program for its proposed CSeries jet, which would seat 110 to 135 passengers.
Bombardier is seeking orders and a launch customer for the CSeries, which if approved, would begin service in 2013 and take the Canadian company into the mainline airline jet industry dominated by Boeing and Airbus.
Bombardier shares rose 7 Canadian cents, or 1 percent, to C$6.53 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The shares are off their year high of C$6.97 reached last June, but have recovered from a low of C $ 4.06 hit in January, mainly on stronger results in its aerospace and train-making units.