China to invest 17.4 bln usd in aviation sector

Beijing (XFNews-ASIA) - China plans to invest 17.4 bln usd in its aviation sector in the next five years, buying 430 new airplanes and building 42 new airports, a government commission 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.

Countries are ranked based on the number of passengers and tons 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 8 pct a year for the next two decades, while Boeing Co forecast a 7.3 pct annual growth rate.

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

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