China has set its sights on the aerospace industry, and it is advancing rapidly toward its goal…of market dominance. China may be poised to take the aerospace industry by storm; the country is working (rapidly and diligently, I might add) to compete with, and perhaps overtake, longtime market leaders The Boeing Company and Airbus.
“It’s the largest market outside the U.S. for commercial airplanes, period,” says Jim Simon, the Boeing vice president who oversees sales in China. “The potential growth in demand for air travel as China’s economy grows is staggering.” As of April, Boeing had 150 direct employees and more than 6,000 staffers at its joint ventures/subsidiaries working in China.
China’s middle class is exploding; more people are purchasing cars, buying property, and flying. In the past decade, China’s commercial airline fleet and the number of commercial airline passengers have more than doubled, reveals an International Civil Aviation Organization spokesperson.
As China expanded its fleet of commercial aircraft, industry giants Airbus and Boeing both vied for contracts, and a portion of the burgeoning market. Key Chinese corporations, backed by the government of the People’s Republic of China, appear to be moving away from acquiring entire aircraft and instead are building their own.
The mil/aero industry is buzzing with talk of and concern over China’s recent aerospace market growth. It seems all eyes are on China. Industry research firms are amassing a knowledge base, government agencies are commissioning reports on the subject, industry organizations and conferences are holding sessions on breaking into the market segment, and various parts, component, and systems vendors are vying for contracts.
Is China’s aggressive growth cause for celebration or concern? This geek’s curiosity is certainly piqued. Stay tuned!