CHINA / Top News

China to invest $17.4B in aviation sector
Updated: 2006-07-15 08:30

China plans to spend 17.4 billion dollars on its aviation sector in the next five years, buying 430 new airplanes and building 42 new airports, a government commission has said.

The growth means mainland China's air transport sector will be the second biggest in the world after the United States, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said in a statement Friday.

Countries are ranked based on the number of passengers and tonnes of cargo flown annually. China is currently the third biggest air market.

The demand for air travel is driven by China's rapid economic growth, its people's increasing affluence, and a greater desire to travel domestically and overseas, as well as booming exports and imports.

European airplane manufacturer Airbus has forecast China's air travel sector will grow by eight percent a year for the next two decades while Boeing forecast a 7.3 percent annual growth rate.

Boeing predicted China would need 2,600 new planes over the 20-year period, while Airbus sees the market at about 1,800 new planes not counting regional smaller aircraft.