Boeing Co said on Tuesday that China will require 3,400 new airplanes worth about $340 billion over the next 20 years, raising its forecast for the country's booming aviation arena.

Previously, the plane maker had projected China would need 2,900 airplanes over the next two decades, 64 percent of which would be single-aisle jets.

China domestic frequencies have increased more than sixteen-fold since 1990, while airplane sizes have remained about the same, Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President for Marketing said in a statement from Beijing.

The Chinese domestic market's projected average growth is almost 9 percent.

The market would grow nearly five-fold by 2026, the plane maker said, and would be larger than today's Intra-North American market.

Boeing told Reuters this month that China would remain its top market outside the United States for the next 20 years, as it vies with arch rival Airbus to supply the country's booming airline industry.

The aircraft maker also said it expects one in 10 of the planes it makes to go to mainland China over the same period.

China is a pivotal battleground between Airbus and Boeing, both of which are battling to sell jetliners to the country's three top carriers: China Southern Air, Air China and China Eastern.

Boeing will control at least a 60 percent share of the Chinese market going forward, the firm told Reuters this month.

Boeing currently has US$2.5 billion worth of active contracts with parts suppliers in China. Rudders in the 787, for example, are exclusively sourced in China.

Five Chinese airlines are due to get their new Dreamliner jets in June 2008 -- in time for the Beijing Olympics.