CHICAGO-A recent market outlook study by Boeing Co. is projecting that by 2023 China's air carriers will require nearly 2,300 new airplanes. This will make China the largest commercial aviation market outside the United States during the next 20 years.

The total cost of these purchases will be approximately $183 billion. The result will be a quadrupling in the size of China's fleet to 2,801 airplanes by the end of the forecast period. Boeing projects that increased air travel will outpace China's gross domestic product during the forecast period, driving the demand for new aircraft. China's overall air traffic market is expected to increase 7.3 percent annually, led by an average annual growth in domestic flights of 8.1 percent.

The China to Europe market, expected to grow at an annual rate of 7.4 percent, will be the fastest growing sector of the China-related international market. The China to Northeast Asia market, which includes destinations like Japan and South Korea, will grow at a rate of 6.7 percent per year, while travel from China to North America will increase at an annual rate of 6.5 percent.

Air carriers in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong are all expected to increase their number of nonstop flights to major European and American cities.

"We're developing new products and technologies for the future needs of the world's airlines," says Randy Tinseth, Boeing's director of product and service marketing. "We're focused on aircraft seating 100 passengers or more, as those constitute more than 90 percent of expected deliveries, measured by value, during the next 20 years."

Worldwide, Boeing projects that airlines will invest $2 trillion for approximately 25,000 new commercial airplanes during the next 20 years.