Boeing has published its latest forecast for the aviation market in China, showing anticipated demand for 8,600 new airplanes valued at $1.4 trillion over the next 20 years.

The manufacturer said that the country “remains on track to become world’s largest aviation market”, with around 25 per cent of all aviation growth worldwide in the last decade coming from China.

Boeing said that the country’s rapidly growing middle class as well as “increased economic growth and growing urbanization”, meant China would lead passenger travel globally “in the next few years”.

The projections are in increase of 7 per cent over last year’s forecast, despite the “near-term challenges” of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The anticipated requirement for new aircraft has been split down into single-aisle and widebody aircraft, with Boeing forecasting Chinese operators will need 6,450 new single-aisle planes over the next 20 years, and 1,590 widebody aircraft.

The manufacturer said that widebody aircraft would account for 18 per cent of deliveries to the country in the 20-year period, a figure that is down 4 per cent on previous estimates “due to an anticipated slower recovery in global long-haul traffic”.

Commenting on the news Richard Wynne, managing director, China Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said:

“While Covid-19 has severely impacted every passenger market worldwide, China’s fundamental growth drivers remain resilient and robust.

“Not only has China’s recovery from Covid-19 outpaced the rest of the world, but also continued government investments toward improving and expanding its transportation infrastructure, large regional traffic flows, and a flourishing domestic market mean this region of the world will thrive.”

Earlier this month China Southern Airlines reported a net profit of 711 million yuan ($106 million) for the third quarter of this year, driven by strong domestic demand and lower fuel prices.

China Southern records third quarter profit