Boe­ing sees big ex­pan­sion in long-haul air mar­ket

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By ZHU WENQIAN zhuwen­qiang@chi­nadaily. com.cn

Boe­ing Co said on Tues­day that China is now the most dy­namic mar­ket for in­ter­na­tional flights, and it is very pos­i­tive about the out­look for the growth of China’s long-haul mar­ket, due to strong do­mes­tic and overseas travel de­mand, and a ris­ing mid­dle class.

The plane man­u­fac­turer lifted its fore­cast for China, and said the na­tion is likely to be­come the first coun­try with an avi­a­tion mar­ket ex­ceed­ing $1 tril­lion in the next two decades. Chi­nese air­lines are es­ti­mated to pur­chase 6,810 air­planes val­ued at $1.025 tril­lion in the next 20 years.

Among the new de­liv­er­ies, Boe­ing pre­dicts that China will need 5,110 new sin­gle-aisle air­planes through 2035, ac­count­ing for 75 per­cent of the to­tal, and China’s wide­body fleet is to triple in size over the next two decades.

“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 at 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.”

Mean­while, low-cost car­ri­ers and full-ser­vice air­lines have been adding air­planes and ex­pand­ing new point-to-point ser­vices be­tween smaller cities to cater for both leisure and busi­ness travel de­mand from a ris­ing mid­dle class in China and through­out Asia.

In the last five years, the num­ber of di­rect in­ter­na­tional flights to and from China saw a surge of 150 per­cent. Di­rect flights be­tween sec­ond-tier Chi­nese cities and overseas cities have been the main driv­ing force of the growth.

Tin­seth said the con­tin­u­ing ex­pan­sion of China’s mid­dle class, cou­pled with new re­laxed visa poli­cies and a wide range of wide body air­planes with new tech­nolo­gies, ca­pa­bil­i­ties and ef­fi­cien­cies, gives Boe­ing suf­fi­cient rea­son to ex­pect a very bright fu­ture for China’s long-haul mar­ket.

Li Xiao­jin, a pro­fes­sor at the Civil Avi­a­tion Univer­sity of China in Tian­jin, said China is ex­pected to have a surge on in­ter­na­tional travel vol­ume. By 2020, China is likely to wit­ness 200 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional trips an­nu­ally.

“The trend of air­lines to add more in­ter­na­tional flights be­tween first-tier Chi­nese cities and sec­ond-tier for­eign cities, and vice-versa, is likely to con­tinue to grow rapidly, since the di­rect flights be­tween first-tier cities are nearly sat­u­rated, and de­mand is keeps grow­ing.”

On the other hand, 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.

REUTERS

A Boe­ing em­ployee uses a lift to get a view of a 787.

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