Boeing confirmed yesterday that China Aviation Supply Company has finalised its agreement to purchase 30 Next-Generation 737 aeroplanes. The aircraft, which will be delivered in 2005 and 2006, are worth approximately $1.7 billion, based on average list prices.
‘The Chinese aviation industry is the fastest growing market in the world,’ said Zhang Guobao, vice chairman, National Development and Reform Commission of China. ‘Adding these 737 aeroplanes to our current fleet of 672 aeroplanes will help Chinese airlines meet their rapidly growing networks and accommodate the rising demand from our passengers.’
According to Boeing, the new 737s are outfitted with larger wings and more powerful engines, which allow them to fly higher, faster, and farther than previous models. In addition, new flight deck features include advanced programmable software and liquid-crystal flat-panel displays that are not available on competing models.
Boeing forecasts that in the next 20 years, China will require 2,400 new aeroplanes valued at $197 billion, making it one of the fastest growing markets in the world for commercial aviation.
The need for new aeroplanes is required to support a 7.1 percent annual increase in air travel in China from 2003 to 2022, compared to the world average of 5.1 percent.
China’s 20-year Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast is 6.2 percent — the highest in the world, and Boeing projects that domestic air travel growth will outpace the GDP growth over the next two decades.