Boeing anticipates another good year in 2018American aircraft maker Boeing remains unfazed by growing concerns over the impact of U.S. protectionism, predicting a rosy outlook for the aviation market globally and in Korea.
“We have never delivered as many airplanes as we did last year,” said Darren Hulst, managing director for market analysis and sales support at Boeing Commercial Airplanes at a press briefing held in Seoul Friday.
According to Hulst, Boeing delivered a record 763 airplanes last year among 912 orders inked. Stressing that Boeing’s airplane deliveries have been growing at an average 5 percent a year since 2007, Hulst anticipates the market will continue to grow this year.
The projection comes despite the business uncertainties the aircraft maker is facing due to a trade war sparked by U.S. President Donald Trump. Boeing has been highlighted as one of the most vulnerable targets of trade retaliations from China, should the U.S. administration push ahead with Trump’s plan to impose up to $60 billion tariffs on Chinese imports as reported by Reuters on Wednesday.
While Hulst declined to comment on any questions related to Trump’s recent protectionist moves, he said “aviation is such a utility now and it’s so important to so many people that it is a very resilient industry.”
Hulst added that it is hard to predict the future of aviation since the company does not have control over where the global economy goes.
As for the local aviation market, Hulst said Korea is an important consumer for Boeing, accounting for more than 10 percent of its Asian business.
Figures from Boeing show that Korea’s airline capacity has been showing a 9 percent average annual growth rate since 2012 and Hulst expected the capacity to keep on growing, led by low-cost carriers.
BY KIM JEE-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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