According to Airbus’ Global Market Forecast for 2018 through 2037, new passenger and freight aircraft deliveries for China will be more than 7,400 over the next 20 years. The forecast categorizes the demand as follows:
- In the Small segment, where most of today’s single-aisle aircraft compete, 6,180 new aircraft are required;
- In the Medium segment, for missions requiring additional capacity and range flexibility represented by smaller wide-body and longer-range single-aisle aircraft, Airbus forecasts demand for 870 passenger and freight aircraft;
- In the Large segment, where A350s and other aircraft will meet demands for additional capacity and range flexibility, 240 aircraft are needed;
- In the Extra-Large segment, reflecting high-capacity and long-range missions by the largest aircraft types, including the A350-1000 and the A380, Airbus forecasts demand for 130 aircraft.
“China is one of the most powerful growth engines of global air transport. It will become the world’s number one aviation market in the very near future,” predicts Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer. He forecasts the total value of Airbus’ industrial cooperation with the Chinese aviation industry will grow to $1 billion (U.S.) by 2020.
By 2037, the propensity for the Chinese population to fly will more than triple from 0.4 trips per capita today to 1.4, according to the Airbus forecast. Private consumption from a growing Middle Class -- 550 million people today to 1.15 billion by 2037 -- is expected to be the main driver of future air traffic growth. Today, private consumption accounts for 37 percent of the Chinese economy, a share that should rise to 43 percent by 2037.
Given strong growth drivers, Airbus officials expect China to become the lead country for passenger air traffic, for both domestic and international markets. Passenger traffic for routes connecting China are forecast to grow well above the world average: 6.3 percent over the next 20 years, they say. Domestic China traffic has grown fourfold over the past 10 years and is expected to become the largest traffic flow in the next 10 years.
At the same time, international traffic from/to China has nearly doubled over the past 10 years. Between 2018 and 2037, the average annual growth rate for all international traffic from/to mainland China is forecast to be 6.3 percent.
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