[Avionics Today 09-04-2014] Airlines and operators based in China are projected to require 6,020 new aircraft worth $870 billion over the next two decades, according to the latest annual China Current Market Outlook (CMO) from Boeing. The world's largest commercial airframe manufacturer has already received 13 percent more orders from China through the first eight months of 2014 than all of last year. This equals to 260 aircraft ordered so far in 2014, compared to 230 for all of last year, said Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing's commercial aircraft division, during a press conference in Beijing. The latest 20-year outlook for China is 8 percent higher than the forecast released by Boeing in 2013.
Boeing delivered its 1,000th airplane to China in 2013. Photo: Boeing
"China's aviation market is going through dynamic changes," said Tinseth. "New business models like low-cost carriers and airplane leasing companies, a new generation of fuel-efficient airplanes, and evolving consumer needs are driving demand for more direct flights to more destinations."
Boeing expects the biggest demand in China will be for single-aisle 90-230 seat passenger jets, representing nearly half of the overall projected demand with 4,340 deliveries expected. That should provide a healthy market for the 737 MAX and the 777X, both of which Boeing expects to enter into service within the next five years.
Currently, Boeing manufactures more than 50 percent of in-service aircraft in China. However, Airbus will pose significant competition with the re-engined version of its A320 passenger jet coming into the market at the end of 2015.
The increased demand from China will result not only from the emergence of new low-cost and regional carriers as Tinseth mentioned, but also from the projected growth in Asian air travel. According to an Oxford Economics report released earlier this year, China will surpass the United States in 2014 as the world's largest outbound travel market and will also become the biggest domestic air travel market by 2017. That should help to establish a healthy market for newer wide body jets in China, such as Boeing's 777X and 787 Dreamliner, as well as the A330neo and A350 XWB from rival Airbus.
"To compete in the tough long-haul international market, our Chinese customers are focused on evolving new business models, adding new destinations, [and] increasing their capacity and resources," said Tinseth. "These trends will shape market demand for an airplane lineup that has high efficiency, low operating costs, environmentally progressive technologies and a great passenger experience."