China set to become second largest commercial aviation market

Boeing’s 2002 China Current Market Outlook forecasts demand for more than 1,900 new jet aircraft worth $165 billion in China over the next 20 years.

Boeing released its 2002 China Current Market Outlook (CMO) at the 4th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition yesterday, November 4, 2002, noting a forecast for more than 1,900 new jet aircraft worth $165 billion in China over the next 20 years.

According to the report, China’s air traffic market is growing at 7.6 percent annually and is expected to be the largest commercial aviation market outside the United States over the next 20 years.

The domestic air traffic market in China will grow at an average annual rate of 9 percent. China’s carriers are projected to add about 1,550 new aircraft to serve domestic markets, including Hong Kong and Macau, accounting for 81 percent of China’s new aircraft. Single-aisle jetliners like the Boeing 717, 737 and 757 models, together with regional jets, will account for 77 percent of the aircraft delivered for the domestic market – a total of about 1,200 aircraft.

The China to Northeast Asia market, expected to grow at 7.1 percent, will be the fastest growing of the China-related international markets. The China to North America market is predicted to grow at 6.1 percent, while China to Europe will grow at 5.4 percent. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and other large provincial cities are projected to have increased non-stop flights connecting to several major European and American cities.

‘In today’s competitive marketplace, passengers are asking for comfortable, low-fare, convenient flights with more frequency choices,’ said Randy Baseler, vice president of Marketing – Boeing Commercial Aircraft. ‘They want flights to be as short as possible, and they prefer non-stop service.’

‘The continuing evolution of the air transportation markets, coupled with a wide range of aircraft sizes with intercontinental range capabilities, are allowing passenger needs to be a key factor in shaping airline networks. Airlines can take advantage of a whole family of Boeing products that can be well matched to demand on any given flight segment.’

The 20-year Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast for China is for an average annual increase of 5.9 percent. Citing high GDP growth rates as a key driver in domestic traffic, Baseler noted that China’s fleet is expected to increase by a factor greater than three-fold in the next 20 years. Total fleet size in 2021 is estimated at 2,320 units, compared with 636 aircraft in 2001. In the Asia-Pacific market, China domestic carriers will outpace foreign carriers in the growth of frequencies in the next 20 years.

China is currently the second largest domestic air cargo market after the United States, at 1.3 million metric tons moved annually, and air cargo within China is expected to grow 10.3 percent annually for the 20-year forecast period.

International air trade linked to China will be a key driver in the world’s overall air cargo traffic growth. The intra-Asia air trade will expand by 8.4 percent annually through 2021, exceeding the Asia-North America and Asia-Europe markets, growing on average at 7.5 percent and 7 percent per year, respectively, for the same timeframe.

Boeing estimates the world fleet will double to almost 33,000 jets by 2021 and that airlines will invest $1.8 trillion in new commercial aircraft, which equates to about 24,000 aircraft deliveries through the next 20 years.

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