China needs 5,000 new planes to meet growing demand

With air travel demand growing, China looks to add thousands of new planes to its fleet.
Written by Tyler Falk, Contributor

While the United States -- the country with the largest volume of airline passengers in the world -- is running low on pilots, China will soon need thousands of new planes.

The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) says that China will need 4,960 commercial planes --- 4,273 of which will need to be "large" passenger planes -- in the next 20 years as China's air passenger volume is expected to grow 7.2 percent annually. The total cost of the aircrafts is estimated at $563 billion, China Daily reports.

COMAC will look to build a higher share of the planes, AFP reports:

COMAC itself is developing two planes, a regional jet and a larger aircraft aimed at challenging the dominance of industry giants Boeing and Airbus.

The Chinese company said it received 50 orders for the challenger—a medium-range commercial jet called the C919—at the airshow, bringing the total to 380, Xinhua said in a separate report. [...]

Industry officials say the C919 will compete with Boeing and Airbus in the medium-range sector, which represents 70 percent of China's market.

Currently, Airbus planes account for half of the Chinese fleet of planes with more than 100 seats.

By 2014, according to the International Air Transportation Association, China is expected to have the fastest growing market for international and domestic passenger travel, as well as the second largest market for domestic passengers in the world and the largest contribution of new air travelers.

China 'needs 4,960 planes by 2031' [AFP]

China to demand 4,273 large jets in next 20 years [China Daily]

Photo: Flickr/Jam.li

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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