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Boeing draws market trend
( 2003-09-17 14:05) (China Daily)

Boeing Co, the globally recognized commercial aircraft maker, outlined in detail its 2003 Current Market Outlook (CMO) for the potentially vibrant Chinese market yesterday in Beijing, reiterating the future flight trend to which it is adhering and forecasting huge airplane demand in the coming two decades.

"China is a very dynamic market, due to its geographic size and its population. China's high GDP growth rate will lead to a rapid increase in air travel, tripling over the next 20 years," said Randy Baseler, vice-president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We estimate that in the next 20 years, China's air carriers will take delivery of nearly 2,400 new airplanes worth US$197 billion.

"And of the US$197 billion projected for new airplanes, 87 per cent are intermediate twin-aisle and single-aisle aircraft."

Baseler made the comments right before the opening of the high-profile China Aviation Exposition, which starts today in the capital city.

According to Baseler, airline competition has intensified over the past 20 years as a result of increased liberalization and deregulation of the market. And in today's competitive marketplace, passengers drive airline strategies.

"What passengers want are safe and reliable flights," Baseler said. "They intend to save time by flying point to point, without transferring through one or two connecting hubs.

"Also, they want the convenience of more frequency choices, that is, more choices to fly where they want to go and when they want to go."

That is why Boeing holds point-to-point flights, which will be the trend of future aviation and why Boeing is sparing no effort on the development of intermediate efficient aircraft, such as 7E7, Baseler emphasized.

The US aviation giant will release the latest developments on this project and give more specifications about the proposed "super efficient" jet 7E7, an intermediate plane claimed to be moderate in size, fuel efficient and comfortable, at the Beijing air show today.

At present, there are 14 city pairs with non-stop service between China and North America. Boeing forecast that in 20 years, the number will triple to 43, with a potential of significantly more.

"Competitive pressure and the right airplane sizes will drive fragmentation of the existing airline networks, providing more non-stop service. Intermediate size airplanes, as opposed to large airplanes such as the A380, will accommodate this growth in non-stop service because they are better aligned with passenger demand and successful airline strategies," Baseler added.

In response to arch-rival Boeing's point-to-point flight theory, which underestimates the role of large planes and hubs, Europe-based giant civil airplane producer Airbus holds that the future aviation market will focus on both fragmentation and consolidation, in terms of the flight mode and role of transfer hubs.


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