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Boeing: China Will Need Over 2,600 Planes
2005-09-20 16:32:46      AP
Boeing predicts that China will need more than 2,600 new airplanes over the next 20 years.

Related Event: China's Aviation Market

BEIJING - Boeing Co. predicts China will need more than 2,600 new airplanes worth $213 billion over the next 20 years as the country's economy expands and air travel becomes widespread, visiting officials said Tuesday.

China "is significantly the fastest growing market in the world," said Randy Baseler, Boeing's vice president of marketing, who was in Beijing for a trade show that starts Wednesday.

China is also expected to remain the world's largest airplane market outside the United States over the next 20 years, Baseler added at a press conference.

Boeing anticipates China's fleet will nearly quadruple to 3,200 airplanes by 2025 as the air travel market grows 7.3 percent a year compared with worldwide market growth of 4.8 percent a year.

The Chicago-based firm hopes its single-aisle Boeing 737 jet, which carries about 150 passengers, will make up the bulk of China's new purchases. It also touted its medium-sized 777s and 787s, which carry 250 to 300 passengers.

In Boeing's view, China's needs are best served by smaller planes serving more frequent routes and more cities rather than the bigger jets offered by its European archival Airbus.

"The high demand for single-aisle airplanes will be driven by an increasing affluence among the Chinese people and an increased desire to travel," Baseler said.

(Photo source: AP/Air China Boeing and Airbus aircraft are seen at Beijing airport Tuesday Sept. 20, 2005.)

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