China 'needs 4,960 planes by 2031'

Nov 13, 2012
An Air China plane prepares to land at Beijing airport. China will need 4,960 commercial planes over the next 20 years, representing a value of $563 bn, the official Xinhua news agency said Tuesday, as air travel demand is expected to increase.

China will need 4,960 commercial planes over the next 20 years, representing a value of $563 billion, the official Xinhua news agency said Tuesday, as air travel demand is expected to increase.

The Commercial Corporation of (COMAC) also forecast that China would require 4,273 "large" passenger planes from now until 2031, the report said.

The forecast for all , large and small, is lower than a similar estimate by US aviation giant Boeing released in September that said China will need 5,260 commercial jets by 2031.

COMAC, which gave the estimate on the sidelines of China's premier airshow held in the southern city of Zhuhai, also said the country's air passenger volume would grow more than seven percent annually in the next two decades.

Air travel demand in China has soared in line with the country's decades of surging economic growth that have made it the world's second-biggest economy and seen its increasingly wealthy consumers take to the skies.

Chinese airlines carried 292 million domestic passengers last year, up 9.2 percent from 2010, according to official figures.

COMAC itself is developing two planes, a regional jet and a larger aircraft aimed at challenging the dominance of industry giants Boeing and Airbus.

The said it received 50 orders for the challenger—a medium-range commercial jet called the C919—at the airshow, bringing the total to 380, Xinhua said in a separate report.

The company aims to hold the maiden flight of the C919 in 2014 and bring the aircraft to the market in 2016, Xinhua said.

The C919 will have up to 168 seats with a maximum range of 5,555 kilometres (3,450 miles), according to COMAC's website.

Industry officials say the C919 will compete with Boeing and Airbus in the medium-range sector, which represents 70 percent of China's market.

Shanghai-based COMAC is now testing prototypes of its smaller, regional jet—the ARJ21—but it has to assemble 50 of them a year by 2014, state media reported earlier this month.

European consortium Airbus had 853 in service in China by the end of October, accounting for about half of China's total fleet of aircraft of over 100 seats, the company said in a statement released at the airshow.

It plans to deliver a total of 120 new aircraft, mainly A320s, to Chinese airlines for all of this year, the statement said.

Explore further: Political strategist joins car ride service Uber (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Paris Air Show spotlights fuel cost fears

Jun 20, 2011

(AP) -- Airlines will be seeking a cleaner, cheaper way to fly and planemakers will be angling for billions in new contracts Monday at the Paris Air Show, which stars a solar plane, biofuel jet engines and ...

Recommended for you

HP sales inch up while profit drops

2 hours ago

Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday reported that its quarterly revenue was nudged up by improved computer sales, but its profit dropped as the veteran technology firm tried to renew its momentum.

Restaurants experimenting with pay-in-advance tickets

5 hours ago

With restaurant patrons increasingly jumping on the Internet to make reservations, some high-end eateries here and across the country are adding a new tech wrinkle: having their clientele pay for their meal in advance using ...

Chip maker Infineon to buy California firm for $3B (Update)

7 hours ago

German chip maker Infineon Technologies AG says it has agreed to pay $3 billion in cash for California-based semiconductor firm International Rectifier, which produces power-management components used in everything from cars ...

User comments : 0