Boeing: The Road to Recovery

Originally published on LinkedIn by Theodore (Ted) Colbert III, CEO, Boeing Global Services

As leader of Boeing Global Services, I’ve seen up close how those in our industry have embraced one another and the creative, innovative and inspirational solutions that have been born out of the difficulty of this shared moment – the most challenging our industry has ever faced. We’re in the midst of a crucible. We’re being tested. And, by working together and making some difficult decisions along the way, we’re passing this test. It’s because of this progress that I’m optimistic about our industry’s resilience, our path to recovery over the next few years and, eventually, our resurgence.

The data tells a similar story. Each year, rain or shine, Boeing compiles a long-term market outlook that covers things such as demand for commercial aircraft and the pilots and technicians who will operate them. We also forecast the commercial- and government-related services that will be needed over the next decade. It’s no easy task, particularly during a global pandemic. Yet, over the years, and thanks to the experienced viewpoints of the people who pull them together, these outlooks have proven to be reliable guideposts for where our industry is heading, regardless of external forces we’re facing.

In our latest services outlook, we see a $3 trillion support and services market over the next decade – 2.2% lower than our 2019 forecast, driven mainly by near-term impacts to commercial travel demand caused by the coronavirus. This outlook is split roughly in half between commercial ($1.6 trillion) and government ($1.4 trillion) services. Despite this modest overall decrease, we’re still looking at a sizeable market with a focus on delivering the solutions our customers need, when and where they need them.

We see significant opportunity across the four primary segments Boeing serves: parts and supply chain; engineering, modifications and maintenance; training and professional services; and digital solutions and analytics—all driven by a talented team with an unwavering commitment to innovation. We’ve seen steady growth in these areas since the stand-up of Boeing Global Services just three years ago – a trend we expect will continue through 2029, despite near-term challenges.

As an example, in digital solutions and analytics, the growing desire for touchless travel is driving increased demand for software apps and virtual solutions for airlines, passengers and airports. If you’ve traveled recently, you may have seen some early signs of this effort. These and other promising trends, such as rising use of converted cargo freighter aircraft, will be important enablers to the near-term recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we face these challenges together, our full outlook is the starting point for a conversation. As an industry, what else can we do to accelerate our shared recovery? Where do you see opportunities for growth and improved customer support? How can we make the most of the COVID crises to improve our products and services? How we answer these questions together will shape our shared future.

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