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Boeing Increases 20-Year Plane Delivery Forecast for China as Demand Surges

Hillary Cargo
By Hillary Cargo Senior Editor, SME Media

Boeing has revised its 20-year forecast for new plane deliveries to China, citing robust economic growth and a surge in domestic travel demand. According to Boeing's Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), Chinese airlines are expected to require 8,560 new commercial planes by 2042, up from the previous estimate of 8,485 made last year.

Boeing remains highly optimistic about China's aviation market, which is poised to constitute 20% of global air travel demand in the coming two decades. The company predicts that China's commercial airline fleet will more than double, reaching nearly 9,600 aircraft in the next 20 years. Notably, China's domestic aviation sector is projected to become the world's largest by the end of the forecast period, resulting in a demand for 6,470 single-aisle airplanes, including the Boeing 737 MAX family.

Boeing's Vice President of Commercial Marketing, Darren Hulst, emphasized the resurgence of air travel in China, with domestic air traffic surpassing pre-pandemic levels and international traffic steadily recovering. Hulst stated, "As China's economy and traffic continue to grow, Boeing's complete line-up of commercial jets will play a key role in helping meet that growth sustainably and economically."

Key projections from Boeing's 2023 China CMO through 2042 include:

  • Demand for 1,550 widebody airplanes primarily to support the expansion of international routes.
  • Two-thirds of forecast deliveries driven by fleet growth, with the remainder replacing older aircraft to enhance efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.
  • A need for 190 new freighter deliveries due to continued growth in e-commerce and express shipping.
  • A requirement for 433,000 new aviation personnel, including pilots, technicians, and cabin crew members, to serve China's burgeoning aviation market.
  • The generation of $675 billion in aviation services demand, encompassing maintenance, repair, training, and spare parts, driven by China's commercial fleet growth.

2023 marks the 50th year of Boeing's presence in China's aviation industry. In 1972, China placed an order for 10 Boeing 707 jets, marking the beginning of a longstanding partnership. Today, Boeing aircraft are integral to China's air travel and cargo systems.

The complete Boeing CMO forecast is available here.

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