China’s $1 trillion new aircraft opportunity

Boeing predicts China will need 5,110 new single-aisle aircraft through 2035, accounting for 75 percent of the total new deliveries. Low-cost carriers and full-service airlines have been adding jets 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.

US manufacturer Boeing says China is forecasted to become the world’s first trillion dollar market for new aircraft over the next two decades. Its latest China version of its Current Market Outlook (CMO) projects a demand for 6,810 new aircraft in the country over the next 20 years, valued at $1.025 trillion at list prices.

Boeing predicts China will need 5,110 new single-aisle aircraft through 2035, accounting for 75 percent of the total new deliveries. Low-cost carriers and full-service airlines have been adding jets 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.

"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, 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 forecasts the widebody fleet will triple in size, requiring 1,560 new aircraft such as the 787, 777 and 777X.  This year's forecast reflects a continued shift from very large jets to efficient new small and medium widebody airliners.

China's single-aisle fleet currently accounts for about 18 percent of global single-aisle aircraft; however, China's widebody fleet only represents approximately 5 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.

Worldwide, Boeing projects a larger demand for 39,620 new aircraft over the next 20 years in its Current Market Outlook, an increase of 4.1% over last year's forecast with annual growth of 4.8%, valuing future aircraft deliveries at $5.9 trillion.

"Despite recent events that have impacted the financial markets, the aviation sector will continue to see long-term growth with the commercial fleet doubling in size," said Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We expect to see passing, passenger traffic grow 4.8 percent a year over the next two decades."

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