Airbus grows China forecast as policy shifts to export secondhand jets

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Observing a strategic change in Chinese aviation policy, Airbus has significantly increased its expectation of the size of the long-term market for airliners in China. With the June 14 release of its annually updated Global Market Forecast, The Air Current was given an advance look at the Airbus figures which include a 12% increase in the total 20-year size of the China market to 9,440 aircraft, now 23.1% of its global total. It’s a sharp jump from the 8,420 it predicted in last year’s forecast for the period from 2022 to 2041.

The 20-year forecast period to 2042 now more deeply reflects China’s shift from heavy growth and rapid expansion to how the country will behave as a mature market.

Related: A different way to think about the future of flying in China

The China market estimate has been of particular interest since last year’s estimate, which used United Nations population data that saw continued expansion of its populace to 2031, as Airbus acknowledged in an extensive TAC feature on the future of Chinese aviation. However, just days after the publication of the 2022 Airbus forecast, the UN released its heavily revised trajectory showing a declining population in China as early 2022. The Chinese government in July acknowledged population growth had peaked at around 1.46 billion people and was beginning to decline.

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