Statement from Boeing fuels speculation of potential chinese order as Air China 747 spotted in Charleston

Boeing 747-8i operated by Chinese airline Air China at Shanghai airport
Edited by Travel Weekly


    A statement from Boeing regarding the need for more aircraft to service China’s growing travelling population has fuelled speculation of a potential large order from Air China following the arrival of an Air China Boeing 747 at the aircraft manufacturers base in Charleston, South Carolina.

    In the statement titled “Boeing: Fast-growing China domestic air travel driving 20-year demand for 8,560 airplanes,” it said China would account for 20 per cent of the world’s airplane demand through until 2042.

    Boeing said China’s commercial fleet will require $675 billion in aviation services including maintenance, repair, training and spare parts over the forecast period.

    The sighting of an Air China Boeing 747 at Boeing’s South Carolina facilities sparked conversation online of the potential for an Air China order with Boeing to be announced in the coming days.

    Here’s Boeing’s statement in full:

    Boeing is forecasting 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.

    China’s commercial airliner fleet will more than double to nearly 9,600 jets over the next 20 years, according to Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), the company’s long-term forecast of demand for commercial airplanes and related services.

    With its ongoing recovery of air travel, China will account for one-fifth of the world’s airplane deliveries in the next two decades, according to the CMO.

    China’s domestic aviation market also will be the largest in the world by the end of the forecast period, helping power demand for 6,470 single-aisle airplanes such as the Boeing 737 MAX family.

    “Domestic air traffic in China has already surpassed pre-pandemic levels and international traffic is recovering steadily,” said Darren Hulst, Boeing vice president, Commercial Marketing.

    “As China’s economy and traffic continue to grow, Boeing’s complete line-up of commercial jets will play a key role in helping meet that growth sustainably and economically.”

    The 2023 China CMO includes these projections through 2042:

    • Along with demand for single-aisle jets, Chinese carriers will require 1,550 widebody airplanes mainly to support a growing network of international routes.
    • Fleet growth will drive two thirds of forecast deliveries in China, while the remainder will replace older jets with modern airplanes that increase efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.
    • Continued growth in e-commerce and express shipping will drive demand for 190 new freighter deliveries.
    • China will require 433,000 new aviation personnel – including 134,000 pilots, 138,000 technicians and 161,000 cabin crew members – to serve its growing market.
    • China’s commercial fleet will generate demand for $675 billion in aviation services including maintenance, repair, training and spare parts.

    Commercial airplane deliveries to China (2023-2042):

    Commercial airplane deliveries to China (2023-2042)
    Regional Jet350
    Single Aisle6,470
    Widebody1,550
    Freighter190
    Total8,560

    2023 marks the 50th year of Boeing airplanes’ service in China.

    In 1972, China ordered 10 707 jets to modernise its commercial fleet and the following year, the country’s first 707 was delivered to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

    Today, Boeing airplanes are the mainstay of China’s air travel and cargo system.

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