What happened 

Shares of Boeing (NYSE:BA) fell 6.8% on Tuesday after the plane manufacturer cut its long-term forecast for commercial aircraft demand. 

So what

Boeing now projects a need for 18,350 commercial airplanes over the next decade, an 11% reduction from its previous forecast in 2019. Those planes represent a market opportunity of $2.9 trillion.

A plane is flying over an empty airport waiting area.

The COVID-19 crisis will weigh on the airline industry for years, according to Boeing. Image source: Getty Images.

While acknowledging that airline traffic has partially recovered from the more than 90% plunge it suffered during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, Boeing believes "a full recovery will take years."

"Commercial aviation is facing historic challenges this year, significantly affecting near- and medium-term demand for airplanes and services," Boeing vice president Darren Hulst said in a press release.

Now what 

To adapt to the current COVID-filled world, Boeing is streamlining its operations to cut costs and boost production efficiencies. It intends to ride out the current downturn and emerge in a stronger position to benefit from what it expects will be a long-term recovery in the aerospace market over the next 20 years.

"History has also proven air travel to be resilient time and again," Hulst said. "The current disruption will inform airline fleet strategies long into the future, as airlines focus on building versatile fleets, networks, and business model innovations that deliver the most capability and greatest efficiency at the lowest risk for sustainable growth."

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