BEIJING (AP) — China will need to buy 3,400 aircraft at a cost of $340 billion over the next two decades as its air travel market grows to rival that of North America in size, aircraft maker Boeing Co. said Tuesday.
Boeing's forecast was an increase over earlier projections by the U.S. company and its European rival, Airbus Industries, which put Chinese demand at 1,900 to 2,600 aircraft over two decades.
''Over the forecast period, China will have the fastest-growing market, making it the largest market outside of the U.S. for new commercial airplanes,'' Boeing said in its annual ''Current Market Outlook.''
China's domestic air travel market is expected to grow nearly fivefold by 2026 ''to become slightly larger than today's Intra-North American market,'' the report said.
China's total fleet is expected to nearly quadruple to 4,460 aircraft by 2026, Boeing said.