Airbus sees big growth in Asia market

Airbus, the world’s largest manufacturer of passenger jets, raised its 20-year industry forecast for aircraft deliveries by about 5 per cent as its annual survey of global aviation demand pointed to healthy long-term growth.

The European company owned by aerospace group EADS said that global airlines will buy a total of $4trillion of aircraft over the next 20 years as they seek efficient new models to counter high fuel costs and meet relentless demand for travel to and from emerging markets.

Airbus expects population growth and urbanisation to continue to promote strong demand and raised the 20-year forecast for the aircraft deliveries to 28,200. Of these, 27,350 are passenger jets and 850 are freighters.

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Airlines and lessors have continued to order aircraft despite the economic downturn, replacing expensive gas guzzlers with more efficient models as they come available. Asia, meanwhile, is also drawing in new capacity.

“Emerging economic regions will represent more than half of all traffic growth in the next 20 years,” Airbus sales chief John Leahy said.

“Increasing urbanisation and the doubling of the world’s middle classes to five billion people is also driving growth.

“By 2031 mega cities will more than double to 92 and over 90 per cent of the world’s traffic will be between or through these points.”

In its previous 20-year forecast, issued a year ago, Airbus had predicted total worldwide demand for 26,921 passenger jets worth $3.3trillion between 2011 and 2030.