China will require 3,400 new airplanes worth about $340 billion over the next 20 years, according to The Boeing Company’s [NYSE: BA] updated annual forecast for the commercial airplane market. The complete forecast, known as the Boeing Current Market Outlook, is available on the Boeing Web site.
Over the forecast period, China will have the fastest-growing market, making it the largest market outside of the U.S. for new commercial airplanes.
China will continue leading all domestic air travel markets with a long-term passenger-kilometer growth rate of 8.8 percent. Following the anticipated surge in passenger traffic for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the China domestic market will grow nearly five-fold by 2026 to become slightly larger than today’s intra-North American market.
With the continued high rate of growth for China air travel and air cargo markets, China’s fleet will nearly quadruple to 4,460 airplanes by the end of the forecast period — 2026.
Single-aisle airplanes such as the Boeing 737 will be the largest category with total new airplane deliveries reaching 2,200. Intermediate twin-aisles such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 777 will see approximately 750 airplane deliveries. When combined, the single-aisle and intermediate twin-aisle market will make up 90 percent of China’s total delivery dollars. About 330 regional jets and 90 airplanes of 747-and-larger size will be delivered.
With China’s cargo markets leading the global industry, Chinese air carriers will add about 300 freighter airplanes by 2026. Its total fleet of freighter airplanes will more than quadruple in size.
„China domestic frequencies have increased more than sixteen-fold since 1990 while airplane sizes have remained about the same,“ said Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president, Marketing. „The Chinese domestic market’s projected average growth is almost 9 percent. Boeing believes the current trend of more frequencies and nonstop flights will continue to accommodate this growth through a focus on single-aisle airplanes such as the Boeing 737, which is renowned for its superior performance, efficiency and low operating costs.“
Air-travel growth between China and North America as well as between China and Europe will more than double in size during the next 20 years, and the number of city pairs will more than triple. There will be an increased use of intermediate twin-aisle airplanes to and from all mainland China major cities, fueling frequency growth and new nonstop services. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 777 are the perfect combination of airplanes to satisfy this kind of development.
Worldwide, Boeing projects investments of $2.8 trillion for 28,600 new commercial airplanes to be delivered during the next 20 years. The Boeing market forecast is widely regarded as the most comprehensive and respected analysis of the commercial aviation market.
Boeing and China have a long, successful history of working together. Since 1972, the world’s largest aerospace company and the world’s most populous nation have worked together to provide safe, advanced and dependable airplanes for the benefit of both China’s traveling public as well as for its commercial aviation industry, a critical factor in China’s economic growth.