Boeing forecasts that Chinese airlines will need 8,700 new airplanes in the next 20 years

U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing has raised its forecast for the demand of aircraft in China, saying that over the next 20 years, Chinese carriers are expected to acquire 8,700 new airplanes valued at USD1.47 trillion to meet sharply expanding commercial air travel demand. In the next 20 years, China’s demand will account for 20% of the total demand for new airplanes in the world. By 2040, China’s middle-income class is expected to double from the current level, Boeing said. By 2030, China’s domestic passenger market will exceed intra-European traffic. By 2040, China’s domestic air traffic is expected to exceed that within North America, Boeing predicted. “The rapid recovery of Chinese domestic air traffic during the Covid-19 pandemic speaks to the market’s underlying strength and resilience,” said Richard Wynne, Managing Director of China Marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “In addition, there are promising opportunities to significantly expand international long-haul routes and airfreight capacity. In the longer term, there is potential for low-cost carrier growth to further build on single-aisle demand,” he said.

By 2040, China will have continued high demand for single-aisle airplanes and will need nearly 6,500 single-aisle aircraft. The deliveries of wide-body aircraft, including passenger and cargo models, will total 1,850 in the next two decades, accounting for 44% of demand by value, Boeing said. By 2023-24, the global air travel market is expected to again reach the level of 2019, Boeing forecast. Boeing also forecast that by 2040, China’s civil aviation industry will require more than 400,000 new employees, including pilots, technicians and cabin crew. The market for commercial aviation services is expected to reach almost USD1.8 trillion in the next 20 years. Boeing and its partnerships in China contribute more than USD1.5 billion annually to the Chinese economy.

China’s budget airlines account for 15% of total market share, lower than the 32% in North America, 43% in Europe and 67% in Southeast Asia. Boeing said with a relatively low market share, China’s low-cost airlines market is expected to grow further in the future. In addition, Boeing said China will need a significant number of freighters. Since the pandemic started, global freight capacity dropped 11% compared to the pre-pandemic period, but total turnover has exceeded the level seen before the pandemic. Meanwhile, China's first self-developed large passenger jet, the C919, is set to be delivered to China Eastern Airlines before the end of the year, the China Daily reports.