Airbus sees Asia-Pacific airlines as main drive for plane orders over next 20 years

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus predicted on Monday that Asia-Pacific airlines are expected to take delivery of around 8,560 new aircraft over the next 20 years, thus becoming the largest air transport market.

These orders are valued at 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars, overtaking those from North America and Europe, and will represent 33 percent of new aircraft deliveries worldwide over the forecast period, the France-based Airbus said in a statement.

“The Airbus forecast is based on stronger than average growth in both passenger and freight traffic in the region, combined with replacement of many of the existing aircraft in service,” the statement noted.

Airbus to expand markets in Asia

The number of passengers carried by Asia-Pacific airlines will rise by 5.8 percent per year while the amount of freight passing through the region will increase by 7.0 percent annually, Airbus estimated. Both are above corresponding global average increases, which are 4.8 percent for passengers and 5.9 percent for cargo.

Over the next 20 years, Asia-Pacific carriers are expected to replace 78 percent of the 3,680 aircraft currently in service, according to the Airbus prediction.

Given the strong demand expected in this region, Airbus said widebody aircraft and even super-jumbo like A380 will see a boom in orders, primarily driven by the growth of low cost carriers, as well as the opening of new secondary short haul routes, especially in China, India and Southeast Asia.

In terms of global market, Airbus foresaw a total demand for 25, 850 new passenger and freighter aircraft valued at 3.2 trillion U. S. dollars over the next 20 years. In the various size categories, the forecast predicts total demand for 1,740 very large aircraft, 6,240 twin aisle widebodies and 17,870 single aisle aircraft.

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