China needs more than 6,300 new planes by 2034

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

Main­land China is ex­pected to add more than 6,300 new air­craft to its com­mer­cial fleet by 2034, U.S. man­u­fac­turer Boe­ing said Tues­day — an in­crease of over 300 planes on its last forecast a year ago.

The world’s most pop­u­lous coun­try and sec­ond-largest econ­omy will need 6,330 new air­craft worth US$950 bil­lion dur­ing the 2015-2034 pe­riod, Boe­ing said in its an­nual China Cur­rent Mar­ket Out­look.

The coun­try’s ex­pand­ing econ­omy and ris­ing in­come are driv­ing air travel growth, Boe­ing said, up­ping its pre­dic­tion by 310 units from last year.

“We see strong growth in the coun­try’s avi­a­tion sec­tor over the long term,” Randy Tin­seth, vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing at Boe­ing Com­mer­cial Air­planes, told re­porters.

China’s eco­nomic growth is slow­ing as main­land Chi­nese lead­ers try to re­form the econ­omy to let con­sump­tion, in­stead of gov­ern­ment-driven in­vest­ment, to play a big­ger role.

That growth model will be “more sus­tain­able” and “bodes well for tourism,” Tin­seth said.

China’s com­mer­cial fleet will num­ber 7,210 air­craft by 2034, the firm said, nearly three times its cur­rent size, with air­craft go­ing into ser­vice in the next two decades ac­count­ing for nearly 90 per­cent of it.

As China be­comes the world’s largest do­mes­tic air travel mar­ket, Boe­ing pre­dicts it will need 4,630 sin­gle-aisle planes over the pe­riod.

China’s in­creas­ingly af­flu­ent con­sumers and loos­ened visa poli­cies for main­land Chi­nese cit­i­zens will give long-dis­tance in­ter­na­tional travel a boost, with 1,510 new wide­body air­craft seen as needed.

Boe­ing, maker of the 737 MAX and 787 Dream­liner, com­petes with Europe’s Air­bus for global dom­i­nance in the air­craft mar­ket.

The U.S. firm says it made more than half the cur­rent Chi­nese com­mer­cial fleet, while Air­bus says it has an al­most 50 per­cent share.

Tin­seth said his com­pany de­liv­ered 155 planes to China last year, 21 per­cent of its global ship­ments.

It won or­ders for more than 400 air­craft in the coun­try last year, he added, pre­dict­ing 2015 will be “a great year.”

With the Chi­nese avi­a­tion mar­ket grow­ing rapidly, Bei­jing has said it wants part of the multi-U. S.-bil­lion dol­lar mar­ket to go to its home­grown pas­sen­ger planes.

State-backed Com­mer­cial Air­craft Corp. of China (CO­MAC) has started as­sem­bling the C919, a 158-168 seat nar­row-body jet that would com­pete with Boe­ing’s 737 and the A320 of Euro­pean con­sor­tium Air­bus.

It is also de­vel­op­ing a wide-body pas­sen­ger plane — ten­ta­tively called the C929 — in co­op­er­a­tion with Rus­sia’s United Air­craft Corp.

“I think you have to take it se­ri­ously to­day,” said Tin­seth. “The ques­tion with CO­MAC and some other man­u­fac­tur­ers is when will they be suc­cess­ful rather than whether they’ll be suc­cess­ful.”

Boe­ing said in July that a pro­jected 38,000 new air­craft from all man­u­fac­tur­ers will be added to the global fleet over the next 20 years.

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