Boeing predicts China will need 8,600 new aircraft over the next 20 years

Despite COVID-19, the Chinese aviation industry is expected to recover faster than most.
Despite COVID-19, the Chinese aviation industry is expected to recover faster than most. Photo credit: Getty

The chinese aviation industry will need an additional 8,600 new aircraft within two decades according to aircraft manufacturer, Boeing.

Despite COVID-19, this estimate is 6.3 percent higher than Boeing's previous prediction of 8,090 planes last year. 

Such demand would be worth US$1.4 trillion based on list prices, Boeing said in a statement.

In October, Boeing cut its 20-year forecast for global airplane demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"While COVID-19 has severely impacted every passenger market worldwide, China's fundamental growth drivers remain resilient and robust," said Richard Wynne, managing director, China Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

"Not only has China's recovery from COVID-19 outpaced the rest of the world, but also continued government investments toward improving and expanding its transportation infrastructure, large regional traffic flows, and a flourishing domestic market mean this region of the world will thrive."

China's domestic aviation market has rebounded to pre-COVID levels but as international travel remains effectively shut down, Chinese airlines have been pushing back deliveries.

Boeing and its European rival, Airbus have been jostling to increase market share in China, but they also face rising competition from state-owned planemaker Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China.

COMAC has been steadily delivering its regional ARJ21 to customers throughout the pandemic and its narrowbody C919, which is still in flight testing phase, is expected to obtain an airworthiness certificate from China's aviation regulator next year.

The regulator has declined to lay out a timeline for the return of the grounded Boeing 737 MAX even though the United States is expected to approve its return to the skies as early as next week.

Boeing projected a need for 6,450 new single-aisle airplanes over the next 20 years, while China's widebody fleet will require 1,590 new planes, accounting for 18 percent of the total deliveries, which fell from a year ago due to anticipation of a slower recovery in global long-haul traffic.