Chinese airlines to buy US$1 trillion worth of new planes

Airlines in China will need to purchase new aircraft worth more than US$1 trillion over the next 20 years.

According to Boeing’s latest Current Market Outlook (CMO) for China, which was released in Beijing this week, the country will need an additional 6,810 commercial aircraft by 2035, worth a staggering US$1.025trn at list prices. This makes China the first trillion dollar aviation market in Boeing’s global forecasts.

“As China transitions to a more consumer-based economy, aviation will play a key role in its economic development,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Because travel and transportation are key services, we expect to see passenger traffic grow 6.4% annually in China over the next 20 years.”

China's "big three" airlines (from left): China Eastern, Air China and China Southern
China’s “big three” airlines (from left): China Eastern, Air China and China Southern

Within the Chinese 20-year forecast, Boeing predicts that airlines will need 5,110 new single-aisle aircraft such as the Boeing 737 or Airbus A320. These will account for 75% of the total new deliveries.

The country’s twin-aisle fleet is also expected to triple in size, with 1,560 new aircraft such as Boeing 777 and 787, Airbus A330 and A350, expected to be required in the next two decades. Of this total, 60 will be very large aircraft, such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380.

At present, China accounts for about 18% of single-aisle aircraft operating in the world, but only 5% of the global twin-aisle fleet. The new projected new aircraft orders outlined by Boeing account for 17% of global demand over the 20-year period.

“The continuing expansion of China’s middle class, coupled with new visa policies and a wide range of wide-body airplanes with new technologies, capabilities and efficiencies, gives us every reason to expect a very bright future for China’s long-haul market,” Tinseth added.

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