Aviation News

September 8, 2011

China Needs 5,000 New Airliners Over Next 20 Years, Says Boeing

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By: BNO News
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China is expected to become the world’s number two plane market as it will require some 5,000 new commercial airplanes valued at $600 billion over the 20 years, Boeing projected on Wednesday.

Plane flying over China

The figure projected by Boeing is up nearly 700 from November 2010, when the aircraft manufacturer predicted that China would require around 4,330 new commercial airplanes over the next 20 years. The increase is the result of air travel demand growing by around 7.6 percent per year in China.

“Sustained strong economic growth, growing trade activities, increasing personal wealth and income, as well as continued market liberalization will be the driving forces in shaping China’s air travel market,” said Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of Marketing.

Boeing expects that small and intermediate twin-aisles, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 777, will be a significant part of these 5,000 deliveries. They are expected to constitute over 40 percent of the market in value, with some 1,040 deliveries anticipated.

Boeing said that major Chinese airlines are expected to gradually shift their focus from domestic to international markets to become competitive global players, Tinseth pointed out.

In addition, with China’s cargo markets leading the global industry, Chinese air carriers are forecast to add about 400 freighter airplanes by 2030. Tinseth said the majority of the demand will be for large, long-range freighters such as the 747-8F and 777F, given that most traffic growth is projected to occur on long-haul traffic lanes tied to China.

However, the projected numbers could change for Boeing aircraft as China is working on its own competitor for the single-aisle plane market, the Comac C919 from Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (Comac), designed to compete directly against the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320.

Comac previously said, during the Airshow China 2010, that it has already finalized orders for 100 150-seat C919 jets. The agreements were reached with Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, CDB Leasing and GE Capital Aviation Services.

In response, Boeing has said the company may decide to redesign the 737 aircraft to compete with the C919, but a formal decision on whether to build a new 737 or update the plane with new engines is not near to be taken.