Airlines in China are likely to triple the size of their fleets over the next 20 years, according to a forecast by Boeing in its annual sales outlook.

The US manufacturer said strong economic growth and rising tourism in China would spur increased demand for aircraft.

Boeing predicts that purchases from Chinese carriers would rise by 7% a year from now until 2032.

That means 5,580 planes will be bought for a total of $780 billion (£500 billion).

“Tourism in China and intra-Asia travel will help spur a strong demand for single-aisle airplanes,” Boeing said.

China’s economy is growing at an annual rate of about 7.5%, according to official figures.

That is slower than in previous years, but still much stronger than Europe, where economies are still emerging from recession, and the US, the BBC reported.