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Boeing Forecasts China Needs 8,560 Planes to Support Robust Air Travel Growth Over Next 20 Years

As China’s domestic air travel demand surges, Boeing [NYSE: BA] projects the nation will require 8,560 new commercial planes by 2042. This boom stems from China’s remarkable economic growth rate and the rising demand for internal air routes.

SMBC Aviation Capital Orders 25 Boeing 737 MAX Jets. (Boeing image)

According to Boeing’s latest Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), China’s commercial airliner fleet is anticipated to more than double in the next two decades, reaching approximately 9,600 jets. With such exponential growth, China will account for 20% of global airplane deliveries over the next 20 years.

Highlighting the growth, Darren Hulst, Boeing’s vice president of Commercial Marketing, shared, “Domestic air traffic in China has already surpassed pre-pandemic levels, and international traffic is recovering steadily. 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.”

Key Projections from the 2023 China CMO:

  • The bulk of the demand will be for single-aisle planes, with a projected 6,470 units, including models like the Boeing 737 MAX.
  • 1,550 widebody planes will be needed, primarily to expand international routes.
  • $675 billion will be the anticipated demand for aviation services, including maintenance, repair, training, and spare parts.
  • Growth in e-commerce and expedited shipping will spark a demand for 190 new freighter deliveries.
  • As for the workforce, China will need 433,000 new aviation personnel, including pilots, technicians, and cabin crew.
Commercial airplane deliveries to China (2023-2042)
Regional Jet – 350
Single Aisle – 6,470
Widebody – 1,550
Freighter – 190
Total – 8,560
Boeing CMO

This year marks a significant milestone, as it’s the 50th anniversary of Boeing planes operating in China. Back in 1972, China made a pivotal decision to modernize its fleet by ordering 10 Boeing 707 jets. Fast forward to today, and Boeing planes are the backbone of China’s air travel and freight system.

Access the full CMO forecast here for a comprehensive view of Boeing’s predictions.

Boeing, a global aerospace leader, serves customers across 150 countries. As a prominent US exporter, the company thrives on fostering economic growth, sustainability, and positive community impact, underpinned by its core values of safety, quality, and integrity.

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