Record commercial plane deliveries in 2014

The commercial aerospace industry has risen to record heights as global airline manufacturer Boeing reveals its market report for 2014.

Published on January 6, the Boeing figures show the company delivered more than 720 commercial planes over 12 months, breaking the previous record set in 2013. The enterprise also reported more than 1,432 new orders – worth over US$232 billion. This exceeds the all-time high of 1,423 set in 2007.

"I'm extremely proud of the entire Boeing team, and all of the hard work that went into delivering and selling a record number of commercial airplanes this past year," Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Ray Conner said.

Airbus, Boeing's biggest rival, is due to release its 2014 reports this month, with similar levels of production likely to be included. 

Rising travel and freight demand boosts production

The rise in activity is largely related to increased production of existing jet types and the development of new models. Additionally, the release of new designs and growth in production comes as airlines look to boost their capacity in preparation for rising consumer demand.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasted global traffic will grow by 7 per cent in 2015, compared to 2014's results. Over the next five years, the overall airline and air transport sectors will expand by up to 17 per cent.

Both freight and passenger travel are impacting the results, with increases expected in both sectors over the coming years. Freight carriage within Asia Pacific should account for around 31 per cent of the total rise in freight by 2017, while commercial passenger flights are driving further growth.

IATA predicted commercial airlines will see an increase in passenger load of 31 per cent on 2012's figures by 2017. Asia Pacific is forecast to add approximately 300 million additional passengers during this time, with the majority (75 per cent) expected to be domestic travellers.

Boeing in Australia and New Zealand

The Asia-Pacific nations currently account for around 15 per cent of Boeing's on-the-go orders and 30 per cent of the future production at Airbus.

Within the region, Australia and New Zealand are particularly strong players. According to Boeing, Australia is home to the company's largest market outside the United States. Australian operations are spread over 27 locations and employ more than 3,000 workers.

This demonstrates how significant Australia is as an aerospace manufacturing hub. Many planes have been researched, designed and built on Australian soil.

For New Zealand, the presence is more focused on purchases, with Air New Zealand recently finalising an order for two new Dreamliner planes, worth $514 million. 

"Air New Zealand was the first airline in the world to take delivery of a 787-9 and one of the first to recognise the synergies of operating both the 787 and 777. The order shows their confidence in our long-haul products," explained Dinesh Keskar, Boeing Commercial Airplanes' senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India Sales.

"With its new aircraft and superior passenger experience, it is no surprise Air New Zealand was voted Airline of the Year by for the second year in a row."

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