Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported on June 1 that international aircraft leasing company Avolon believed that China’s airlines would need to add 3,200 aircraft over the next 10 years to meet the growing needs of China’s travelers.
Citing a recently released research paper, the report said more than half of the aircraft still needed to be ordered, and that included 1,150 narrow-body aircraft and 150 wide-body jets. It was stated in the paper that there were currently 2,800 aircraft in the nation’s passenger service fleet, equivalent to 13% of the world’s total. It represents 11% growth since 2010.
The report claimed that there was a higher proportion of narrow-body aircraft in future needs, and China’s carriers were currently “underresourced” in wide-body jets.
Avolon’s head of strategy and author of the study Dick Forsberg was quoted as saying: “China offers an attractive long-term growth opportunity for domestic and international airlines, aircraft [original equipment manufacturers] and aircraft leasing companies”.
It was pointed out in the paper that strong rapid growth in outbound travel was the strongest factor fuelling demand for more flights and aircraft. It pointed out the China became the world’s largest source of outbound tourist in 2012, overtaking Germany and the US and accounting for 10% of global cross-border trips.
“This  number represents less than 9% of the total population and only 15% of urban residents, suggesting that there is a great deal more growth ... Those travellers spent US$110 billion, which makes the market an extremely attractive one for the destination countries,” the Avolon paper said.
On the other hand, inbound international visitors accounted for only a fraction of China’s tourists traveling abroad. The media report cited National Bureau of Statistics that 25 million international visitors arrived in China in 2015, a small decline over 2014, with the 10-year average growth since 2005 running at 2.5%.
The paper also pointed out that Chinese airlines were competitive when compared to foreign rivals.
Competitive performance index that tracks market share showed China’s airlines achieved an average score of 1.02 in 2016, indicating that “Chinese airlines secure a slightly higher market share than their overseas competitors relative to the capacity offered”, the new report said.