The global market for Boeing Co.'s commercial airplanes — including the 787 Dreamliner built in North Charleston — continues to grow, with emerging markets in Asia and elsewhere helping to boost projected demand to 42,730 jets worth $6.3 trillion over the next 20 years.
The Chicago-based planemaker released its annual forecast Tuesday at the Farnborough International Airshow near London. It represents a 4.1 percent increase in the number of expected airplane deliveries compared with the 2017 outlook.
"The commercial aviation market is strong and growing," Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said on Twitter.
The biggest demand will be for single-aisle planes like the 737, with airlines worldwide expected to buy 31,360 of the jets worth $3.5 trillion over the next two decades.
Wide-bodies like the 787 are projected to see demand of 8,070 planes worth $2.5 trillion. Regional jets and freighters make up the rest of forecast.
"For the first time in years, we are seeing economies growing in every region of the world," said Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing's commercial aircraft business. "This synchronized growth is providing more stimulus for global air travel."
Asia Pacific countries will overwhelmingly be the biggest market for commercial planes through 2038, accounting for more than half of all demand, according to the forecast. The North American and European markets are expected to account for the next-biggest share of sales.
Boeing delivered more than a fourth of its airplanes to customers in China last year, and a report by Reuters said the latest forecast underscores the planemaker's vulnerability to trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Tinseth declined to answer questions about how a trade war might affect Boeing's sales, according to Reuters. Instead, he told reporters at the airshow: "We are going to focus on what we can control."
Much of the future demand will come from airlines replacing aging jets — especially wide-bodies — in their fleets, Boeing said. There are more than 900 airplanes worldwide that are more than 25 years old, fleet data shows, with another 500 planes a year hitting that milestone starting in the mid-2020s.
Tinseth said 44 percent of planes delivered in the next two decades will be for fleet replacement, with the rest supporting growth.
"We are seeing strong traffic trends not only in the emerging markets of China and India, but also the mature markets of Europe and North America," he said. "Along with continued traffic expansion, the data show a big retirement wave approaching as older airplanes age out of the global fleet."
In addition to sales, Boeing predicts servicing its airplanes — providing parts as well as maintenance and engineering — will generate $8.8 trillion in revenue over the next 20 years.
"We see a market in which airlines outsource more and more, a market in which data and data analytics help aircraft and airline networks become more efficient and reliable, and a market in which new technologies provide new services solutions," Tinseth said. "All of these trends drive greater demand for integrated solutions over the life of an airplane."
Boeing is one of the Charleston region's largest employers, with roughly 6,800 workers and contracts at its 787 Dreamliner assembly campus and other manufacturing and research facilities in North Charleston.