Boeing has brushed aside concerns about the Chinese economy and raised its forecast for demand for aircraft to 6,330 worth $950 billion over the next 20 years.
As China becomes the world’s largest domestic air travel market, Boeing is projecting demand for 4,630 single-aisle aircraft through to 2034.
The sector is driven by growth in new carriers and low-cost airlines in developing and emerging markets, as well as continuous expansion in established airlines.
China’s low-cost carriers are currently responsible for about 8% of single-aisle aircraft demand, rising to 25-30% of demand by 2034.
The US manufacturer forecasts that the widebody segment will require 1,510 new aircraft, led by small and medium widebody types such as the 777-300ER, 777X and the 787 Dreamliner.
Chinese airlines have more than doubled their long-haul international capacity over the past three years, in large part following the delivery of 747-8 Intercontinental aircraft to Air China and 777-300ERs and 787s to several leading Chinese carriers.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes marketing vice president, Randy Tinseth, said: “Despite the current volatility in China’s financial market, we see strong growth in the country’s aviation sector over the long term.
“Over the next 20 years, China’s commercial airplane fleet will nearly triple: from 2,570 airplanes in 2014 to 7,210 airplanes in 2034, with more than 70% of these deliveries accommodating growth.”
He predicted that long haul travel will accelerate, “enabled by China’s growing middle-class population, new visa policies and the underlying strength of its economic growth”.
Ihssane Mounir, sales and marketing vice president for north-east Asia, added: “China’s aviation market is incredibly dynamic, from its leading airlines to its start-ups and low-cost carriers.”
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