Boeing sees future in Northeast Asia

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Boeing sees future in Northeast Asia

With strong growth in air traffic in the Northeast Asian region, an estimated 1,250 new airplanes will be delivered to the area over the next 20 years, a value of about $200 billion, according to Boeing yesterday.

“Air travel in Northeast Asia, including Korea, will grow moderately at 4.3 percent annually over the next 20 years,” Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a press conference in central Seoul yesterday.

Tinseth said the number of airplanes in operation in the region is expected to more than double from 690 in 2010 to 1,520 in 2030.

According to Tinseth, Northeast Asia is a large market for twin-aisle aircraft, such as the 787 Dreamliner, and other larger aircraft like the midsize 747-8. These aircraft account for about 45 percent of the region’s demand for airplanes in terms of units and almost 70 percent in terms of monetary value.

The U.S.-based Boeing and the France-based Airbus have had slightly different strategies.

Airbus is aggressively promoting the A380, the world’s largest aircraft that has up to 850 seats, while Boeing is promoting the smaller 787 aircraft, which has a maximum of 290 seats.

Speaking of the reason behind Boeing’s confidence in the market for the 787, Tinseth said, “The growth in the aviation industry shows that the average size of aircraft remains the same, but airliners are flying more frequently and to more destinations. We expect this trend to continue. That’s why we are introducing the B787.”

Speaking of the Korea-China market, Tinseth said the number of routes between the two countries grew from two in 1991 to 25 in 2001 and to 60 in 2011, explaining why the future for the 787 is bright in the region. In the same period, the number of flights also increased from 68 to 506 and then to 1,678.

Last month, Boeing delivered two 787 aircraft to Japan’s ANA, the first delivery ever, in Seattle, where the airplanes are produced. The plane costs $200 million. Now, 56 airlines have ordered a total of 820 Boeing 787 aircraft, including 10 ordered by Korean Air.

However, due to the huge popularity of the airplane, there is a years-long backlog. Recently, China Southern Airlines canceled orders for the 787.


By Limb Jae-un [jbiz91@joongang.co.kr]

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