Airbus: China needs over 5,300 new aircraft in the next 20 years

Airbus A321 with Sharklets
Airbus A321 with Sharklets (© Airbus)

Airbus forecasts that China will need over 5,300 new passenger aircraft and freighters from 2014 to 2033, with a total market value of US$ 820 billion. It represents 17 per cent of the world total demand for over 31,000 new aircraft in the next 20 years.

According to Airbus’ 2014-2033 Global Market Forecast, new deliveries of passenger and freight aircraft for China will be 5,363 over the next 20 years, including 3,567 single aisle aircraft, 1,477 twin-aisles and 319 very large aircraft.

China will become the leading country for passenger air traffic, for both domestic and international markets as the passenger traffic in China will grow well above the world average.

Domestic air traffic in China will become the world’s number one within 10 years. China will overtake the United States of America in 2023, in terms of the number of passengers and in 2027, in terms of RPK (Revenue Passenger Kilometre). In the next 20 years, the forecast average annual growth rate for the domestic Chinese market is 7.1 per cent but will grow even faster over the next 10 years at 8.3 per cent on average per year. By 2033, the domestic Chinese market will remain the largest flow, representing 11.9 per cent of world traffic in terms of RPK.

During the period between 2013 and 2023, the average annual growth rate for international traffic from/to mainland China will be 8.1 per cent. Four out of the 20 largest flows (RPK) will be from/to PRC. The average annual growth rate for markets between emerging Asian countries and PRC is 7.5 per cent, for routes between PRC and the USA is 6.6 per cent, while the routes between Western Europe and PRC is 5.6 per cent.

“Domestic passenger traffic in Mainland China has more than quadrupled over the last 10 years, and it will become the world’s number one aviation market within the next 10 years,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. “Airbus’ share of the in-service fleet of aircraft over 100 seats on the Chinese mainland has reached 50 per cent in 2013. In the next 20 years, the greatest demand for passenger aircraft will come from China.” he added.

Drivers of China’s dynamic air transport growth include the country’s long-term economic development. The average annual economic growth in China is forecast at 7.4 per cent between 2013 and 2023. China will become the world’s biggest economy in 2023, with its GDP accounting for 19 per cent of the world’s total.

The urbanization of China is one of the major driving forces for the country’s economic growth. The urban population in China’s mainland was 711 million in 2013, representing 54 per cent of the total population. The urban population will grow to 1.014 million in 2033, representing 71 per cent of the population.

Average wages in China have increased five-fold in the past decade and they will continue to rise in the years ahead and fuel higher levels of disposable income and private consumption, which is expected to account for 41 per cent of Chinese GDP in 2023.


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