Boeing said on Tuesday that China will require 3,400 new airplanes worth about $340 billion over the next 20 years, raising its forecast for the Asian giant's booming aviation arena. Previously, the plane maker had projected China would need 2,800 airplanes for the next two decades.
"China domestic frequencies have increased more than 16-fold since 1990, while airplane sizes have remained about the same," Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice- President for Marketing said in a statement.
"The Chinese domestic market's projected average growth is about 9 percent."
The market would grow nearly five-fold by 2026, the plane maker said, and would be larger than today's Intra-North American market.
Boeing said this month that China would remain its top market outside the United States for the next 20 years, as it vies with arch rival European Airbus to supply the country's booming airline industry.
The aircraft maker also said it expects one in 10 of the planes it makes to go to China.
China is a pivotal battleground between Airbus and Boeing, both of which are battling to sell jetliners to the country's three top carriers: China Southern Air, Air China and China Eastern.
Boeing said that it would control a 60 percent share of the Chinese market.
Boeing currently has US$2.5 billion worth of active contracts with parts suppliers in China. Rudders in the 787, for example, are exclusively sourced in China. Five Chinese airlines are due to get their new "Dreamliner" jets in June 2008 -- in time for the Beijing Olympics.