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SEATTLE: Boeing expects the world's airlines to buy 36,770 new aircraft valued at US$5.2 trillion in the next two decades. Of these, more than 30 percent have already been sold.

The manufacturer says China will buy over 6,000 airplanes valued at US$870 billion.

Xiamen Airlines 787-8"China's aviation market is going through dynamic changes," said Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of Marketing. "New business models like low-cost carriers and airplane leasing companies, a new generation of fuel-efficient airplanes and evolving consumer needs are driving demand for more direct flights to more destinations."

Despite a one percent annual growth in air cargo since 2008, Boeing says there is little evidence to indicate that supply chains are becoming less global: "High-value merchandise trade is forecast to expand approximately five percent per year through 2030, which should bolster air cargo traffic. Traffic began to accelerate during the fourth quarter of 2013 and first quarter of 2014, which may herald a long-awaited recovery in air cargo," notes the company.

Notwithstanding the expanding use of belly capacity on passenger airplanes, Boeing says it expects freighters will continue to carry more than half of global air cargo traffic and the current market capacity imbalance to be restored within a few years.

The manufacturer says the airline industry will purchase 2,200 freighters in the next two decades as air cargo traffic (measured in revenue tonne-kilometres) increases 4.7 percent per annum. Some 1,330 will be passenger conversions and the remainder, valued at US$240 billion, will be new. The express operators are expected to order 250 medium-body aircraft with a maximum 80-ton capacity during this period.

In 1993, more than 73 percent of all traffic was carried by airlines in Europe or North America. By 2033, this proportion will shrink to 38 percent says Boeing as approximately 48 percent of global traffic will be to, from or within Asia Pacific. The result will mean a demand for 13,460 new airplanes valued at US$2.02 trllion. And with a 5.5 percent per annum growth in air cargo, airlines are expected to order 360 new freighters plus 530 converted units.

Meanwhile, according to the South China Morning Post, China is planning to liberalise its air cargo market in a bid to boost trade Read more:

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