In this 2018 photo, models of Boeing passenger airliners are displayed during the Airshow China in Zhuhai city, south China’s Guangdong province. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

In this 2018 photo, models of Boeing passenger airliners are displayed during the Airshow China in Zhuhai city, south China’s Guangdong province. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

Boeing predicts travel back at 2019 levels in two or three years

The company expects Chinese airlines will need 8,700 new aircraft by 2040.


Boeing forecasts that commercial aviation should be back to 2019 levels in two to three years, buoyed by a strong domestic recovery in China and parts of Europe, the U.S. planemaker’s China head said.

Various countries’ vaccination rates and differing quarantine requirements will pose some hurdles but “we’re anticipating in the next two to three years that the aviation market will fully recover to 2019 levels,” Boeing China President Sherry Carbary said on the sidelines of Airshow China 2021 in the southern city of Zhuhai on Tuesday.

Carbary also said that Boeing was working very closely with the Civil Aviation Administration of China as it waits for its 737 Max model to be cleared by Chinese regulators.

China — the first to ground the Max following the jet’s second fatal crash in Ethiopia in March 2019 — still hasn’t lifted its ban, though a test flight was conducted in the country in August. Other markets in Asia including India and Singapore have cleared the model to fly in recent months.

“We’ve been sitting side by side, answering technical questions, and we’re going to continue to do that until the CAAC is comfortable that the Max can safely fly again,” Carbary said. “We’re answering all of their questions and in parallel, we’re staying close to our customers and helping them be ready to unground their airplanes and take additional Max.”

Boeing has bold predictions for aviation in China, saying earlier this month it expects Chinese airlines will need 8,700 new aircraft for a total of $1.47 trillion by 2040, doubling the country’s commercial fleet size as air travel booms.

Indeed the Chinese aviation market is so large that there’s room for Boeing, Airbus SE and local player, Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, Carbary said.

China is keen to reduce its reliance on Airbus and Boeing and sees home-grown manufacturer Comac as key to that. Comac signed a deal with China Eastern Airlines Corp. last week to buy five C919 passenger jets. The C919 is comparable to the Airbus A320 and Boeing’s 737.

“I think it’s important to understand that China is the largest aviation market in the world,” Carbary said. “And there is plenty of room for all three manufacturers to support China for the near term and into the medium and long term.”

Separately, Boeing, along with Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Co. announced plans to create additional capacity for the 767-300 Boeing converted freighter by opening two new conversion lines at Guangzhou Aircraft’s facility.

Boeing forecasts 1,720 freighter conversions will be needed over the next 20 years and of those, 520 will be widebody conversions with Asia carriers accounting for more than 40% of the demand.

Part of Boeing’s 767 freighter family, the 767-300 converted freighter is a workhorse of the skies, able to carry up to 51.6 tons and fly almost 3,850 miles.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

FILE - A Boeing 737 Max jet prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight in Seattle, Sept. 30, 2020. Boeing said Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, that it took more than 200 net orders for passenger airplanes in December and finished 2022 with its best year since 2018, which was before two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max jet and a pandemic that choked off demand for new planes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Boeing inks deal for up to 300 737 Max planes with Ryanair

At Boeing’s list prices, the deal would be worth more than $40 billion if Ryanair exercises all the options.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Four recognized for building a better community

Economic Alliance of Snohomish County hosts annual awards

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Business Briefs: Pandemic recovery aid and workforce support program

Snohomish County launches small business COVID recovery program, and is now accepting NOFA grant applications.

Elson S. Floyd Award winner NAACP President Janice Greene. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Janice Greene: An advocate for supplier diversity and BIPOC opportunities

The president of the Snohomish County NAACP since 2008 is the recipient of this year’s Elson S. Floyd Award.

Emerging Leader Rilee Louangphakdy (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Rilee Louangphakdy: A community volunteer since his teens

Volunteering lifted his spirits and connected him with others after the death of a family member.

Emerging Leader Alex McGinty (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Alex Zitnik-McGinty: Find a group you like and volunteer!

Her volunteer activities cover the spectrum. Fitting in “service work is important as we grow.”

Opportunity Lives Here award winner Workforce Snohomish and director, Joy Emory. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Workforce Snohomish receives Opportunity Lives Here Award

Workforce offers a suite of free services to job seekers and businesses in Snohomish County.

Henry M. Jackson award winner Tom Lane. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Tom Lane: An advocate for small and local businesses

The CEO of Dwayne Lane’s Auto Family is a recipient of this year’s Henry M. Jackson Award.

John M. Fluke Sr. award winner Dom Amor. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dom Amor: Working behind the scenes to improve the region

Dom Amor is the recipient of this year’s John M. Fluke Sr. Award

Dr. David Kirtley at the new Helion headquarters in Everett, Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022  (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett nuclear fusion energy company nets first customer: Microsoft

The Everett company, on a quest to produce carbon-free electricity, agreed to provide power to the software giant by 2028.

Hunter Mattson, center, is guided by Blake Horton, right, on a virtual welding simulation during a trade fair at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, Washington, on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. High school kids learned about various trades at the event. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Trade fair gives Snohomish County kids glimpse of college alternatives

Showcasing the trades, the Trade Up event in Monroe drew hundreds of high school students from east Snohomish County.

A Tesla Model Y Long Range is displayed on Feb. 24, 2021, at the Tesla Gallery in Troy, Mich.  Opinion polls show that most Americans would consider an EV if it cost less, if more charging stations existed and if a wider variety of models were available. The models are coming, but they may roll out ahead of consumer tastes. And that could spell problems for the U.S. auto industry, which is sinking billions into the new technology with dozens of new vehicles on the way.  (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Tesla leases space at Marysville business park

Elon Musk’s electric car company reportedly leased a massive new building at the Cascade Business Park.