Image: Boeing Company

Boeing is forecasting that China will need 8,560 new commercial aircraft through 2042, driven by economic growth well above the global average and increasing demand for domestic air travel.

China’s commercial airliner fleet will more than double to nearly 9,600 jets over the next 20 years, according to Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), the company’s long-term forecast of demand for commercial aircraft and related services.

With its ongoing recovery of air travel, China will account for one-fifth of the world’s aircraft deliveries in the next two decades, according to the CMO. China’s domestic aviation market also will be the largest in the world by the end of the forecast period, helping power demand for 6,470 single-aisle aircraft such as the Boeing 737 MAX family.

“Domestic air traffic in China has already surpassed pre-pandemic levels and international traffic is recovering steadily,” said Darren Hulst, Boeing vice president, commercial marketing. “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.”

The 2023 China CMO includes these projections through 2042:

Along with demand for single-aisle jets, Chinese carriers will require 1,550 widebody airplanes mainly to support a growing network of international routes.

Fleet growth will drive two thirds of forecast deliveries in China, while the remainder will replace older jets with modern airplanes that increase efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.

Continued growth in e-commerce and express shipping will drive demand for 190 new freighter deliveries.

China will require 433,000 new aviation personnel – including 134,000 pilots, 138,000 technicians and 161,000 cabin crew members – to serve its growing market.

China’s commercial fleet will generate demand for $675 billion in aviation services including maintenance, repair, training and spare parts.

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