Boeing has projected a demand for 6,810 new airplanes in China over the next 20 years.
The aviation giant released its annual China Current Market Outlook earlier in Beijing, estimating the total value of those new airplanes at $1.025 trillion.
China becomes the first trillion dollar aviation market in Boeing’s forecast.
“As China transitions to a more consumer-based economy, aviation will play a key role in its economic development,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president, marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“Because travel and transportation are key services, we expect to see passenger traffic grow 6.4 percent annually in China over the next 20 years.”
Boeing predicts China will need 5,110 new single-aisle airplanes through 2035, accounting for 75 per cent of the total new deliveries.
Low-cost carriers and full-service airlines have been adding airplanes and expanding new point-to-point services to cater for both leisure and business travel demand from a rising middle class in China and throughout Asia.
Tinseth said the backlog from Chinese customers demonstrates that the new 737 MAX 8 and the current Next-Generation 737-800 are at the heart of the single-aisle market.
Boeing forecasts the widebody fleet will triple in size, requiring 1,560 new airplanes.
This year’s forecast reflects a continued shift from very large airplanes to efficient new small and medium widebody airplanes.
China’s single-aisle fleet currently accounts for about 18 per cent of global single-aisle aircraft; however, China’s widebody fleet only represents approximately five percent of the global widebody 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,” said Tinseth.
Driven by China’s growing e-commerce business – already the largest in the world – air cargo is expected to become a key driver for the continuous growth of aviation in China, with the need for 180 new freighters and 410 converted freighters.