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Market Update: Commercial Aviation is Thriving

By Dave Pheteplace | August 01, 2016

Boeing and Airbus both added automation to their production lines to keep up with demand.



The worldwide demand for commercial airliners is booming. In 2015, Boeing and Airbus built a total of 1,397 aircraft. According to The Wall Street Journal, both companies are automating their production lines, from robots to exoskeletons for the workers, to increase their output. They intend to increase their unit-volume production by about 33% each year until 2020 to reach a combined output of 1,800 planes per year (an average of 150 planes per month). They are each currently producing an average of 58 planes per month.

2015 Commercial Aviation Market
Unit Sales by Manufacturer

Boeing and AirBus sales by unit


Boeing is the largest producer of commercial aircraft. By unit volume produced and delivered, it holds 44% of the market, followed by Airbus at 36%. Other manufacturers include Bombardier and Embraer, who manufacture regional jets; UAC from Russia; and Comac from China (Comac’s regional jet is flying but has not received FAA certification, and its C919 narrow body is three years behind schedule).

Boeing and Airbus both are forecasting significant demand for their aircraft through 2034. The following are the forecasts of each company.

Boeing Forecast by Aircraft Model
2015 – 2034
Boeing Forecast by Aircraft Model


Airbus Forecast by Aircraft Model
2015 – 2034Airbus Forecast by Aircraft Model

Although not precisely the same, the forecasts from each company are pretty close when you consider that they are 20-year projections. Needless to say, both companies see a good future for their aircraft.

By region, Boeing sees the most potential for future sales in Asia Pacific/China, garnering 38% of the worldwide market, followed by Europe and North America.

Boeing Forecast by Region
2015 – 2034 Boeing Forecast by Region


The 2015 market for connectors in commercial aviation was $713 million. Not surprisingly, with Boeing and Bombardier, North America held 51% of the connector market share. Europe held 37% of the share with Airbus.

2015 Commercial Aviation Connector Market
Region of the World

2015 Commercial Aviation Connector Market by Region of the World

Some of the major connector companies selling into the commercial aviation market sector include:

  • Amphenol – Total 2015 sales of $5,569 million; 6% reported sales into commercial aviation (approximately $334 million)
  • TE Connectivity – Fiscal-year 2015 sales of $12,200 million, of which approximately 8% is in its military/aerospace/marine market sectors (approximately $976 million)
  • Souriau, an Esterline Company – Estimated 2015 sales of $299 million (Airbus is a major customer)
  • Smiths Connectors – 2015 sales of $641 million, of which $246 million was connectors
  • Rosenberger – DIN EN 9100 and MIL-PRF 39012 qualified supplier; 2015 sales estimated at $920 million
  • Radiall – 2015 sales of $334 million, of which approximately 69% was reported as military/aeronautics/space market sectors (or $231 million)
  • Carlisle Interconnect – 2015 sales estimated at $373 million
  • ITT Interconnect Solutions – 2015 sales of $328 million
  • Eaton Interconnect – 2015 connector sales of $79 million
  • Bel Connectivity – 2015 sales of $339 million

Connector sales in commercial aviation are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6% through 2021, reaching a value of more than $1 billion.

More information on commercial aviation can be found in the Bishop & Associates report, Civil Aviation Market for Connectors, Research Report M-4100-16.

No part of this article may be used without the permission of Bishop & Associates Inc.

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