In its 2020 Commercial Market Outlook
, Boeing said that, to meet rebounding demand and to replace its maturing fleet, China was likely to be in the market to purchase around 6,450 single-aisle planes - including the likes of Boeing's 737 - with around 1,590 purchases of bigger, wide-bodied planes.
Amounting to some $1.4 trillion, the purchases would be accompanied by $1.7 trillion worth of commercial aviation services, Boeing said, pointing to a robust post-pandemic recovery being supported by China's booming middle classes and increased economic growth. Boeing said China would take a leading role in growing passenger travel globally.
“China's commercial jet fleet has expanded sevenfold since 2000 and around 25% of all aviation growth in the [past] decade has come from China,” Boeing said.
However, an anticipated slow recovery in global long-haul traffic saw Boeing cut its projection for wide-bodied planes by 4 percentage points to 18% over the next 20 years.
Boeing expects China's annual passenger traffic growth to be about 5.5% over the period.
Various advanced composites and metals are used in the construction of Boeing's airplanes, including titanium
for load-bearing areas, aluminium
for engine cowlings and wing tips, and carbon laminates and sandwich structures for the fuselage.
Around half the material used in modern aircraft construction is carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, while the main metals used are aluminium alloys (20%) and titanium (15%), although steel (10%) also continues to feature because of its strength and corrosion resistance.