Boeing Expects Robust China Jet Demand, Undeterred by Volatility

Boeing Co. said it expects China’s aviation industry to withstand the current financial market turbulence and forecast the nation’s carriers will almost triple their commercial aircraft fleet over the next two decades.

The plane fleet in China will surge to 7,210 by 2034 from 2,570 last year, the planemaker said in a statement distributed in Beijing Tuesday. The Chicago-based company also forecast China needing 6,330 new planes worth $950 billion in the next two decades.

“Despite the current volatility in China’s financial markets, we see strong growth in the country’s aviation sector over the long term,” Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing at Boeing’s commercial airplane unit, said in the statement.

Asian air travel growth is lifting orders for planemakers Boeing and Airbus Group NV, with China forecast to surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest aircraft market within the next 20 years. The country’s economic expansion is making air travel affordable to more people, prompting carriers such as Air China Ltd. and China Southern Airlines Co. to increase their fleet.

China is also forecast to become the world’s biggest air travel market, according to Boeing.

Boeing estimates single-aisle jets will account for nearly three-quarters of future demand, while low-cost carriers will account for as much as 30 percent of China aircraft demand by 2034, up from the current 8 percent.

— With assistance by Haixing Jin, and Clement Tan

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