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Business

Airbus lifts industry forecast for aircraft output

The world's largest manufacturer of passenger planes, Airbus, is confident that demand for aircraft will rise considerably over the next two decades. It expects the biggest growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

European jet maker Airbus on Tuesday raised its 20-year industry forecast for aircraft deliveries, expecting healthy long-term growth of global aviation.

Unveiling its global market forecast in London, the plane manufacturer predicted that some 28,200 passenger jets and cargo aircraft would be sold between 2012 and 2031 for a total of $4.0 trillion (3.2 trillion euros).

Airbus stated the world's passenger fleet would more than double to some 32,550 planes as compared with the current level of 15,500 aircraft.

Lucrative deals ahead

"Emerging economic regions will represent more than half of all traffic growth in the next 20 years," Airbus said in a statement. CEO John Leahy said China in particular would play a decisive role in the process.

"In 20 years from now, China's domestic passenger traffic will overtake the US domestic traffic to become the number one traffic flow in our forecast," Leahy maintained.

He added that there would be strong demand for more fuel-efficient aircraft, with about 10,300 passenger planes expected to be replaced by "greener" models.

Airbus hopes it will profit most from growing demand worldwide. Last year, the company - a division of European aerospace giant EADS - logged orders for 1,419 planes, compared with rival Boeing's 805.

hg/ipj  (dpa, Reuters, AFP)