Boeing’s guidance for China’s commercial market through 2042 remains the same

Boeing's market forecast for China remains unchanged since it published the global commercial market outlook in June 2023
Vytautas Kielaitis /

Boeing has reiterated the guidance it had previously published for the Chinese aviation market.

In the latest forecast, which the manufacturer published on September 20, 2023, Boeing said that “China will need 8,560 new commercial airplanes through 2042, driven by economic growth well above the global average and increasing demand for domestic air travel”.

As a result, the total aircraft fleet in China will “more than double to nearly 9,600 jets over the next 20 years”.

Its Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) for the period between 2023 and 2042, published in June 2023, estimated that the total aircraft fleet in the country will measure 9,560 aircraft. The number is split between 430 regional, 6,790 single-aisle, 1,620 twin-aisle, and 750 freighter jets.

“Domestic air traffic in China has already surpassed pre-pandemic levels and international traffic is recovering steadily,” Darren Hulst, the vice president of Commercial Marketing at Boeing, was quoted as saying in the company’s latest forecast update.

Hulst pointed out that with economic and air traffic growth expected to continue in China, the manufacturer’s aircraft lineup will “play a key role in helping meet that growth sustainably and economically”.

Much like in June 2023, Boeing has now estimated that Chinese operators will take delivery of a total of 8,560 aircraft: 350 regional, 6,470 single-aisle, 1,550 twin-aisle, and 190 freighter aircraft.

The manufacturer noted that 2023 “marks the 50th year of Boeing airplanes’ service in China”.

The manufacturer delivered its first-ever aircraft, a Boeing 707, to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in 1973. The CAAC has not provided commercial air services since 1988, with the Chinese government splitting the agency’s passenger operations into several different companies.

Chinese carriers have a total of 1,806 Boeing aircraft, split between active, stored, and in maintenance jets, according to data. Meanwhile, the country’s airlines have 2,188 Airbus aircraft that are either active, stored, or in maintenance.

However, while Airbus has continuously delivered aircraft to its Chinese customers, Boeing has been wrapped up in a trade war between the United States (US) and China. Since 2019, the US-based manufacturer has delivered a total of 79 aircraft, according to its Orders & Deliveries data as of August 31, 2023. data showed that Airbus delivered 478 aircraft built between September 1, 2019, and August 31, 2023, to Chinese customers between January 1, 2019, and August 31, 2023.

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