Chinese market takes off

China will require 3,400 new airplanes worth about $340bn over the next 20 years, according to Boeing’s updated annual forecast for the commercial airplane market.

Over the forecast period, China will have the fastest-growing market, making it the largest market outside of the US for new commercial airplanes.

Boeing maintains that China will continue leading all domestic air travel markets with a long-term passenger-kilometre 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 will be the largest category with total new airplane deliveries reaching 2,200. Intermediate twin-aisles 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 nine percent. Boeing believes the current trend of more frequencies and non-stop flights will continue to accommodate this growth through a focus on single-aisle airplanes.’

The complete forecast, called the Boeing Current Market Outlook, is available here.