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Boeing expects China fleet to triple in 20 years

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Nov 2, 2010
Boeing said Tuesday it expects China's civil aircraft fleet to triple over the next 20 years and is aiming to control more than half of the market, the world's second largest after the United States.

China will have 5,180 aircraft serving the civil aviation industry by 2029, up from 1,570 last year, the vice president of marketing for the US aerospace giant, Randy Tinseth, said at a briefing.

"China is one of the world's fastest growing and dynamic aviation markets, driven by the urbanisation of China, the growth of its economy and an ever increasing personal wealth," Tinseth said.

Chinese airlines will need 4,330 new jets valued at 480 billion dollars over the next two decades, compared with global demand of 30,900 units during the period, he said.

More than 80 percent of those aircraft would be needed for market growth, while the rest would replace existing planes in China's fleet.

Last year, Boeing predicted that the China market would require 3,770 new aircraft worth 400 billion dollars in 20 years' time.

The sharp jump in the forecast was mainly due to China's higher economic growth rate, stronger-than-anticipated demand for single-aisle jets and an expected rise in Chinese airlines' share of international travel, Tinseth said.

The executive said Boeing aircraft currently accounted for 52-53 percent of China's fleet in operation.

"Our objective is to maintain or grow that market share," he said.

Tinseth however noted that Boeing would "have more competition" and faced "a broader and broader spectrum of competition" from emerging rivals including Canada's Bombardier and those in Brazil, Japan and Russia.

European jet manufacturer Airbus said in September that it controlled 43 percent of the aviation sector in China and was set to overtake Boeing in what will soon be the world's biggest market.

Airbus now has 623 passenger jets in service in the country, compared with Boeing's 874.

Last week, the head of China's civil aviation administration offered a more bullish forecast, saying the country would have up to 5,000 aircraft to transport passengers and cargo by 2015, according to state media.

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