Chinese airlines need 4,273 passenger aircraft in next 20 yrs

Chinese airlines need 4,273 passenger aircraft in next 20 yrs Beijing: Chinese airlines will require 4,273 large passenger aircraft in the next 20 years, a Chinese airplane manufacturer said here on Tuesday.

The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd (COMAC) said in its latest forecast report on China's aviation market in the next two decades that China is expected to order 4,960 aircraft, including both small and large passenger plane, worth more than USD 563 billion from 2012 to 2031.

In the same period, the global market will demand 31,739 aircraft with a total value of around USD 3.89 trillion, according to the COMAC report, which was released at the ongoing China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, being held in Zhuhai of China's southern Guangdong Province, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

COMAC expects global air passenger turnover to grow at an annual rate of 4.9 percent in the next two decades, and that of China will expand by 7.2 percent annually.

Also, a Chinese aviation official said China will carry out reforms next year to further open up low-altitude airspace to private airplanes with communication and surveillance facilities already built to ensure flight safety.

The announcement was made by Ma Xin, an official with the state air traffic control commission, at the 9th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition that opened on Tuesday. The six-day event, in the southern city of Zhuhai in Guangdong Province, is attended by nearly 650 companies from 39 countries and regions.

Four general aviation flight service stations have also been put to use in Shenyang, Shenzhen, Hainan and Zhuhai to provide maintenance service.

"We're overhauling a series of regulations on airspace management to simplify the application procedures," Ma said.

"As the reforms forge ahead, we believe the general aviation industry will gain momentum and become a new growth point just like the car industry," he said.

Pilot projects have been launched in China's northeastern and central-southern regions, as well as seven cities, including Tangshan near Beijing, Xi'an, Qingdao, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Kunming and Chongqing, where airspace below 1,000 meters is open to general aviation flights.

China had about 1,198 aircraft used for general aviation purposes as of the end of last year. Opening the airspace is expected to promote China's general aviation industry, including the purchase and use of private planes.

There is potential for market growth in this area but it has been impeded by the country's restrictions on airspace use, Xinhua reported.

The Chinese government decided to open up part of the country's low-altitude airspace for the first time in 2010. By 2020, the country will need 10,000 to 12,000 general aviation aircraft, according to China's civil aviation authorities.

Related industries will form a market valued at about one trillion yuan, Xinhua added.


PTI