NEW YORK (AP) -- Demand for new airplanes around the world will continue to soar as millions of people in developing nations take to the skies for the first time.
In the next 20 years, global airlines will need 38,050 new airplanes jet manufacturer Boeing said in its annual market forecast. That's up 3.5 percent from last year's projection.
In order to fill that demand, Boeing, its rival Airbus and smaller manufacturers like Embraer and Bombardier will have to build more than five new planes a day, every day for the next two decades.
These new planes will help to double the number of aircraft worldwide from 21,600 to 43,560 in 2034. Fifty-eight percent of the 38,050 airplanes delivered over that time will be to accommodate growth. Boeing estimates that the number of passengers will grow by 4.9 percent each year. The rest of the new planes will replace existing aircraft.
Nearly two out of every five new planes will head to Asia.
The current jet buying spree has been driven by cheap credit and relatively high fuel prices, making the economics work for purchasing new, fuel-efficient planes. But as fuel prices have fallen and interest rates are expected to climb, some aviation experts have warned that airlines might continue to fly older jets rather than buy expensive new ones.
Boeing says it isn't seeing that.
"The commercial airplane market continues to be strong and resilient," Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing's commercial airplane division said in statement. "As we look forward, we expect the market to continue to grow and the demand for new aircraft to be robust."
Scott Mayerowitz can be reached at http://twitter.com/GlobeTrotScott