China becomes world’s first trillion dollar aviation market
Driven by China's growing e-commerce business – already the largest in the world – air cargo is expected to become a key driver for the continuous growth of aviation in China.
September 13, 2016
By Donald Urquhart
Boeing has projected a demand for 6,810 new aircraft in the country over the next 20 years, including nearly 600 freighters – both newbuild and converted. Boeing released its annual China Current Market Outlook (CMO) today in Beijing, estimating the total value of these new aircraft – passenger and cargo – at US$1.025 trillion. China becomes the first trillion dollar aviation market in Boeing’s forecast.
Driven by China’s growing e-commerce business – already the largest in the world – air cargo is expected to become a key driver for the continuous growth of aviation in China, with the need for 180 new freighters and 410 converted freighters.
“As China transitions to a more consumer-based economy, aviation will play a key role in its economic development,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Because travel and transportation are key services, we expect to see passenger traffic grow 6.4 percent annually in China over the next 20 years.”
Boeing forecasts the widebody fleet will triple in size, requiring 1,560 new aircraft such as the B787, B777 and B777X. This year’s forecast reflects a continued shift from very large airplanes to efficient new small and medium widebody airplanes, the aircraft manufacturer noted.
China will need 5,110 new single-aisle aircraft through 2035, accounting for 75 per cent of the total new deliveries, Boeing predicts. Low-cost carriers and full-service airlines have been adding airplanes and expanding new point-to-point services to cater for both leisure and business travel demand from a rising middle class in China and throughout Asia.
China’s single-aisle fleet currently accounts for about 18 per cent of global single-aisle aircraft; however, China’s widebody fleet only represents approximately 5.0 per cent of the global widebody segment.
“The continuing expansion of China’s middle class, coupled with new visa policies and a wide range of widebody airplanes with new technologies, capabilities and efficiencies, gives us every reason to expect a very bright future for China’s long-haul market,” said Tinseth.