China needs 8,700 new airplanes over next 20 years
The Boeing Co forecasts that China's airlines will require 8,700 new airplanes by 2040 to meet its expanding commercial air travel demand. That is 100 more planes than its previous prediction last year.
The new airplanes have a market value of $1.47 trillion. China's commercial fleet is expected to double by 2040, and wide-body demand is anticipated to be 20 percent of global deliveries. It is a need for nearly 6,500 new single-aisle airplanes over the next 20 years, while China's widebody fleet, including passenger and cargo models, will require 1,850 new planes.
The outlook, part of the company's most recent long-term forecast of demand for commercial airplanes and services, also said China needs nearly $1.8 trillion worth of commercial services for its aircraft fleet over the 20-year period. The country's civil aviation industry will require more than 400,000 new aviation personnel by 2040, including pilots, technicians and cabin crew.
Boeing said the company committed to investing in people who will power the future of aviation, such as training nearly 100,000 Chinese aviation professionals and employing more than 2,500 Boeing employees.
Across its businesses, training practices, supply chain and other activities, Boeing's presence and partnerships in China contribute more than $1.5 billion annually to the economy. The data and statement by Boeing make China a bright spot in the aviation market amid coronavirus lockdowns worldwide.
"The rapid recovery of Chinese domestic traffic during the pandemic speaks to the market's underlying strength and resilience," said Richard Wynne, managing director, China Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
"In addition, there are promising opportunities to significantly expand international long-haul routes and air-freight capacity. Longer term, there is the potential for low-cost carrier growth to further build on single-aisle demand," he said.
China's economic fundamentals provide the foundation for healthy air traffic increases, including a middle-income demographic that will double by 2040, according to the forecast. By 2030, China's domestic passenger market will exceed intra-European traffic; by 2040, China's domestic traffic is expected to also exceed air travel within North America.
Boeing has a long-standing partnership with China that spans nearly 50 years and said it will continue investing in that important market. But the continued political tensions between the US and China may restrict Boeing's fully access to the Chinese market. Boeing has not announced any orders from a Chinese airline since November 2017. Earlier, Boeing has been forced to cut back Dreamliner production due to trade tensions.
Before the two fatal crashes of two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, Boeing aimed to raise production to 57 aircraft per month. As deliveries were halted after the second crash with the MAX, Boeing reduced production and eventually had to halt production in January 2020; it did not resume until May 2020. Boeing's 737 MAX airliner is poised to return to Chinese skies for the first time in 2 1/2 years, but China hasn't indicated when the ban will be reversed.
Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun warned that a prolonged trade deadlock between the United States and China threatens the comeback of its 737 MAX and, ultimately, the company's long-standing role as an industrial champion.
"We need the two governments to want to restore some of the trade. And I think it's in both parties' interests to want to do that. I have confidence that will happen; I do know that if it goes on for too long, [Boeing] pays a price," Calhoun told CNN in June.
Source: China Daily