Boeing (NYSE:BA) released its annual China Current Market Outlook today, saying that it expects China's airline fleet to triple in size over the next 20 years.

That would mean 5,580 new airplanes would be added in China from 2013 to 2032. This doesn't mean Boeing will win contracts for all of those planes -- or that Chinese customers have made any additional orders -- but rather that the company expects China's demand to significantly increase.

Right now, more than 50% of all the commercial jetliners operating in China are Boeing airplanes, according to the company.

Randy Tinseth, vice president of Boeing commercial airplanes, said in a statement that, "Thanks to strong economic growth and increased access to air travel, we project China traffic to grow at nearly 7% each year." Boeing said China is a "key market" for the company and said that its current and future airplanes will meet the country's future demands.

The company said tourism in China and other parts of Asia will increase demand for single-aisle airplanes, while long-haul international traffic to and from the country is expected to grow at an annual rate of 7.2%. Over the next two decades, Boeing expects Chinese airplane demand to be worth $780 billion. The outlook released today represents an increase over last year's 20-year forecast predicting sales of 5,260 new commercial airplanes valued at $670 billion in 2012-2031.

Worldwide, Boeing projects investments of $4.8 trillion for more than 35,000 new commercial airplanes to be delivered during the next 20 years. China accounts for about  16% of that total estimated demand.

"To compete in the long-haul international market, our Chinese customers are focused on growing their international networks, increasing their capacity and building resources," Tinseth said in a press release. "These trends will shape market demand for airplanes that have high efficiency, low operating costs, environmentally progressive technologies and a great passenger experience."

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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