Updated: 02/25/2013 18:44 | By Agence France-Presse

Asia to get almost 10,000 planes over 20 years: Airbus

Asia-Pacific carriers will take delivery of 9,870 new passenger and cargo aircraft valued at $1.6 trillion over the next 20 years, European plane manufacturer Airbus said Monday.


The region will account for 35 percent of aircraft deliveries worldwide and 40 percent of the market in terms of value during the period, putting it ahead of Europe and North America, Airbus said in a statement.

Airbus expects a total of 28,200 new aircraft deliveries globally with a market value of $4.0 trillion in the next 20 years.

"Everything is going to grow, but the shift to Asia-Pacific in terms of market share and market presence is going to be enormous," said Airbus chief operating officer John Leahy.

"Growing economies, bigger cities and increasing wealth will see more people flying, driving the need for larger and more efficient aircraft," he told journalists in Singapore.

Emerging markets like China and India as well as the growing middle class in the region are powering demand for new aircraft, Leahy said, with Asia-Pacific carriers favouring wide-body models.

The size of the middle class in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to increase fivefold from 746 million in 2011 to 3.4 billion in 2031, according to estimates cited by Airbus.

In contrast, the number of people making up the middle class in North America is expected to drop while a modest increase is predicted for Europe during the 20-year period.

Domestic travel in the United States, which currently holds the largest share of world passenger traffic, is also expected to be matched by travel within China in 2031 at 10.4 percent of the global total.

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