Boeing has raised its forecast for China’s demand for new commercial aircraft over the next 20 years to 6,810, making the country the first trillion dollar aviation market in its forecast.
The figure compares to 6,330 aircraft from last year’s estimate.
The airframer expects China to require 5,110 new single-aisle aircraft through 2035, accounting for 75% of total new deliveries. This is as low-cost carriers and full-service operators alike add aircraft and expand new point-to-point services to cater to both leisure and business travel demand in China and throughout Asia.
The country’s widebody fleet will meanwhile triple in size, requiring 1,560 of these new jets, predicts Boeing. It expects 870 of these to be in the 200-300 seat segment, and 630 in the 300-400 seat segment.
It adds however that there is a continued shift away from very large aircraft, with it now expecting a demand for just 60 aircraft with 400 and more seats over the next 20 years.
Boeing also expects China to require 180 new freighters and 410 converted freighters.
Altogether, the new aircraft are valued at $1.03 trillion.
“As China transitions to a more consumer-based economy, aviation will play a key role in its economic development,” says Randy Tinseth, vice-president of marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, adding that he expects passenger traffic to grow 6.4% annually in China over the next 20 years.
While China currently accounts for about 18% of the global single-aisle fleet, its widebody fleet only represents about 5% of the global segment.
“The continuing expansion of China’s middle class, coupled with new visa policies and a wide range of widebody airplanes with new technologies, capabilities and efficiencies, gives us every reason to expect a very bright future for China’s long-haul market,” says Tinseth.