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China Focus: Hopes flying high for China's air market

(Xinhua)    13:22, November 03, 2016

ZHUHAI, Nov. 3  -- The world's major aircraft manufacturers have high hopes for China's aviation industry, with predictions that the country will be the world's biggest civil aviation market in 20 years.

New deliveries of passenger and freight aircraft for China will be close to 6,000 over the next 20 years, including 4,230 single aisle aircraft, and 1,740 wide-body aircraft, according to Airbus' 2016-2035 Global Market Forecast, released at the ongoing 11th China International Aviation &Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province.

Airbus rival Boeing is also optimistic about the Chinese market, with president of Boeing China John Bruns saying that China will become the world's first air market with a market value exceeding one trillion U.S. dollars.

Airbus forecasts that China will need nearly 6,000 new passenger aircraft and freighters from 2016 to 2035, with a total market value of 945 billion U.S. dollars. It represents 18 percent of the world total demand in the next 20 years.

"In the next 20 years, China will need more than 1,000 aircraft with 70 to 130 seats," said Guo Qing, vice president of Sales and Marketing, Commercial Aviation, Embraer China. Brazil's Embraer has big shares in regional air transportation market.

"People's travelling needs are rising, which has brought huge opportunities for regional air transportation," he said.

China will become the lead country for passenger air traffic, for both domestic and international markets, as passenger traffic in China will grow well above the world average rate, and will be the focal point for five of the top twenty traffic flows worldwide, according to Airbus.

With aviation continuing to prove an extremely efficient way to move people and goods around the country, domestic air traffic in China will become the world's number one traffic flow growing at over three times from today level.

Flows between China and the United States, Europe and Asia are expected to be amongst the fastest growing globally, with average annual growth rates 6.8 percent, 5.3 percent and 6.7 percent respectively. Between 2015 and 2035, the average annual growth rate for all international traffic from/to the Chinese mainland is forecast to be 6.7 percent.

Domestic passenger traffic on the Chinese Mainland has quadrupled over the last 10 years, and China is set to become the world's number one aviation market, said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers.

"In the next 20 years, the greatest demand for passenger aircraft will come from China," he said.

China's rising middle-class, combined with agreements to ease travel between China and other major markets, are contributing to an outbound tourism boom. According to the China National Tourism Administration, the number of China's outbound tourists exceeded 100 million last year.

By 2035, the propensity for the Chinese population to fly will grow from 0.3 trips per capita today, to 1.3, a higher level than the whole of Europe's propensity to fly today, Airbus predicted.

Amid intense competition, China's Commercial Aircraft Corporation (COMAC) of China is ready to grab a share of the market. On Wednesday, the company and Russia's United Aircraft Corporation unveiled a jointly-developed wide-body aircraft model. The 280-seat aircraft is expected to make its maiden flight in 2023.

"We will focus on the growing global aviation industry with our aircraft," said Guo Bozhi, assistant to COMAC's General Manager. "Of course, China will always be one of the most important markets for us."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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