Boeing has forecast China will require 7,240 new aircraft through 2036, valued at approximately $1.1 trillion, according to the US manufacturer’s annual China Current Market Outlook released Sept 6. Boeing’s new estimate is 6.3% higher than last year’s projection.

“China’s continuous economic growth, significant investment in infrastructure, growing middle-class and evolving airline business models support this long-term outlook,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP-marketing Randy Tinseth said. “China’s fleet size is expected to grow at a pace well above the world average, and almost 20% of global new airplane demand will be from airlines based in China.”

Boeing said single-aisle aircraft, such as its 737 MAX family, will continue to make up the bulk of Chinese airlines’ domestic and regional fleets, and forecast the country will require 5,420 of the type, making up 75% of all new aircraft to be delivered to Chinese carriers over the next 20 years.

As airlines continue to shift toward small and medium widebody aircraft for long-haul service, Boeing forecast China will require 1,670 new aircraft of the type. Demand for larger widebodies, Boeing said, will largely be in the freighter market going forward.

Over the next 20 years, Boeing predicts China will need:

  • 150 90-seat and below regional jets, valued at $10 billion;
  • 5,420 90 to 230-seat single-aisle aircraft, valued at $570 billion;
  • 940 200 to 300-seat small widebody aircraft, valued at $260 billion;
  • 550 300+ seat medium/large widebody aircraft, valued at $190 billion; and
  • 180 freighter widebody aircraft, valued at $60 billion.

Boeing projects a worldwide demand for 41,030 new aircraft over the next 20 years, with Chinese carriers needing nearly 18% of the total global demand. At present, over 50% of all commercial jets now operating in China are Boeing aircraft, the company said. Conversely, Boeing said China has a component role on every commercial aircraft model the manufacturer now offers.

Mark Nensel