China will need to double the size of its commercial airliner fleet over the next two decades in order to keep pace with the expected explosion in demand for domestic air travel and economic growth, Boeing [NYSE: BA] said Wednesday.
According to the aircraft manufacturer, market research indicates that China will need 8,560 new commercial airplanes through 2042. During that time, the deliveries will equate to 20 percent of the world’s airplane demand, Boeing said in its Commercial Market Outlook.
“Domestic air traffic in China has already surpassed pre-pandemic levels and international traffic is recovering steadily,” Darren Hulst, Boeing vice president of commercial marketing, said in a statement. “As China’s economy and traffic continue to grow, Boeing’s complete lineup of commercial jets will play a key role in helping meet that growth sustainably and economically.”
Single-aisle designs, such as the Boeing 737 Max family, will comprise the category with the largest demand over the next 20 years, with a projected delivery of 6,470 aircraft, followed by 1,550 deliveries of widebody aircraft. By 2042, another 350 regional jets and 190 freighters will also be delivered, Boeing said.
Boeing predicts fleet growth will include new aircraft to replace older designs in the name of efficiency and reduced carbon dioxide emissions. This will generate demand for some $675 billion in aviation services, including training, maintenance, and repair and spare parts.
In addition to increasing the number of aircraft, the number of people in support of these airplanes will be increased as well. Officials predict China will be needing 134,000 pilots, 138,000 technicians, and 161,000 cabin crewmembers to support these aircraft.