Boeing Raises Forecast for China Plane Demand on Economic Growth

Boeing Co. raised its 20-year forecast for China’s aircraft market by 6.1 percent, at least the fourth consecutive year in which the company has increased its estimate for demand from the world’s second-biggest economy.

The country will need 5,580 new planes costing $780 billion through 2032, the Chicago-based planemaker said in a statement distributed at a briefing in Beijing today. Boeing said last year that China would need 5,260 new planes worth $670 billion through 2031.

“We are looking at economic growth, growth in income, growth in trade, tourism in and out of the country, liberalization of the market over time, cost of travel going down,” Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing at Boeing, said at the briefing. “All of those play a part in where we see the market in the long term.”

A gauge of manufacturing in China rose to a 16-month high last month, adding to signs that the nation’s economy is strengthening after growth slowed for two consecutive quarters. Economists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG are among those who have raised their estimates for Chinese economic growth this year.

Boeing said today that the size of China’s airplane fleet will triple over the next two decades as traffic in the country grows by almost 7 percent a year.

The company won orders for twenty 737s, two 747-8s, one 777-300 and eight 777 freighters from Air China Ltd. this year. It also delivered Dreamliners to Chinese customers earlier in 2013. Air China, the nation’s biggest carrier by market value, also in May placed an order for 100 Airbus SAS A320s to be delivered from 2014 to 2020.

Delayed Flight

Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, a planemaker seeking to challenge Boeing and Airbus in the single-aisle jet market, delayed the maiden test flight of its C919 plane to 2015 from a previous plan for next year, four company officials familiar with the plan said in August.

Chinese airlines discounted tickets in the first half to lure customers as seat capacity expanded because of plane deliveries and high-speed trains competed for passengers. China’s air passengers increased 10.7 percent in the first seven months to 201 million, according to the latest available data from the country’s aviation regulator.

In April, the Beijing-based China Tourism Academy said the nation had overtaken Germany and the U.S. to become the world’s biggest source of tourists.

— With assistance by Jasmine Wang, and Penny Peng

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