U.S. aircraft maker Boeing said Wednesday China will become the second largest market for new commercial airplanes after the United States in the next 20 years, as the country's aviation sector continues to grow rapidly.
Boeing anticipated that China will buy 3,710 airplanes before 2028 with a potential market value of 390 billion U.S. dollars, making the world's new largest airplane market outside the United States.
"China will continue to be the fastest-growing aviation center in the world, requiring 41 percent of the entire Asia-Pacific region airplane demand," said Randy Tinseth, Boeing commercial airplanes vice president of marketing, in a statement. "This makes China the largest market outside of the United States for new commercial airplanes."
China's passenger and cargo growth is likely to triple its total fleet number to 4,650 airplanes, about as many planes as there are in Europe today, according to the company.
Boeing said it expects single-aisle aircraft will account for 70 percent of new Chinese purchases and the company's next-generation 737 jetliners will make up the largest category with 2,600 scheduled deliveries.
Meanwhile, China's demand for wide-body planes, such as Boeing 777 and the long-awaited 787 Dreamliner, will count for about 780 plane deliveries.
A strike by about 27,000 machinists working on Boeing's assembly lines have forced the company to delay deliveries of new airplanes to customers in last two months.
The strike, starting early September, is expected to end this weekend after the machinists union and the company reached a settlement over a new four-year labor contract earlier this week.