Last updated: 03:39 PM ET, Tue September 01 2015

More Tidbits From The Boyd Aviation Summit

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | September 01, 2015

More Tidbits From The Boyd Aviation Summit

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

LAS VEGAS – Tuesday’s final day of the 20th annual Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino began with presentations from airline manufacturers.

The forecast?


“Things look bright in terms of how the airlines are performing,” said Wendy Sowers, Boeing’s director of product forecast.

Sowers reiterated Boeing’s 20-year forecast that it released earlier this year, in which it estimates the industry will need 38,000 new planes by the year 2034.

And where are all those planes going? Airbus, in its presentation, said the United Kingdom, China, Germany, Japan and India are the top five international markets that U.S. airlines should concentrate on.

Airbus also said it expects airlines to have 85 percent of its business class seats be fully lie-flat by 2020.


Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza was scheduled to make a presentation but instead stayed back at the company’s Miramar, Fla. headquarters to deal with any issues resulting from Tropical Storm Erika.

In his place, Paul Berry, director of public relations, brand and advertising, told the audience that Spirit is mostly misunderstood by the flying public about the low-fare, yet a la carte, service.

To that end, Berry showed several of Spirit’s commercials from its new “Unbundled” campaign, including this:


Lots of talk here about China’s emergence on the aviation scene, including this nugget from conference host Michael Boyd, president and CEO of Evergreen, Colo.-based Boyd Group. China, he said, is not only poised to receive 5,000 planes over the next 10 years, but has begun using robots in its manufacturing.

And in the midst of that, Hainan Airlines Vice President Wei Hou said during his presentation that U.S. airports are “not ready” for the influx of Chinese tourists.


Andrew Watterson, senior vice president of network and revenue management for Southwest, said the airline is looking at no fewer than 50 new markets to enter. They include Hawaii and Alaska.

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