The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) forecasts the Asia Pacific region will require hundreds of thousands of new commercial airline pilots and technicians over the next 20 years to support airline fleet modernization and the rapid growth of air travel. Boeing expects to capture a large chunk of the market for new commercial airplanes based on its unique position as the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world in terms of revenues, orders and deliveries.
Boeing in its 2011 Pilot & Technician Outlook forecasts the need for 182,300 new pilots and 247,400 new technicians in the Asia Pacific region through 2030. China, which leads the pack will require 72,700 pilots and 108,300 technicians over the next 20 years.
Of this Boeing estimates North East Asia will need 20,800 pilots and 30,200 technicians over the next 20 years. South East Asia will require 47,100 pilots and 60,600 technicians. The Oceania region will need 13,600 pilots and 15,600 technicians and South West Asia will need 28,100 pilots and 32,700 technicians.
The multi-billion dollar dream expands manifold at the global level. Per Boeing’s forecasts, over the next 20 years, the global market for new commercial airplanes is valued at $4 trillion for 33,500 units. Per the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global passenger traffic grew 5.9% year over tear in July 2011. This bullish trend will benefit the entire airline industry including Zacks #2 Rank (Buy) companies like Bristow Group Inc. (NYSE:BRS) and Copa Holdings S. A. (NYSE:CPA).
Earlier, strong performance from the commercial airplanes business and stable core operations allowed Boeing to register a solid second quarter 2011. The company surpassed both the year-ago results and the Zacks Consensus Estimates. Boeing has raised its earnings per share guidance range for fiscal 2011 to $3.90 – $4.10 from the earlier band of $3.80 – $4.00, encouraged by the solid performance in the most recent quarter.
However, Boeing narrowed its commercial airplane delivery guidance for 2011 to a range of 485 – 495, from 485 – 500 forecast earlier. The reduction was due to lower planned deliveries in the second half of 2011 on development programs (especially 787 and 747-8 units).
The Zacks Consensus Estimates for third quarter 2011, fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2012 currently stand at $1.07 per share, $4.24 per share and $5.27 per share, respectively.
Boeing currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. Considering the fundamentals, we are maintaining our Neutral recommendation on the stock. This is in sync with other aerospace and defense behemoths like General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) and Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT).