Global demand for aircraft in the next 20 years will be stronger than previously thought, US planemaker Boeing has said, as passenger numbers are set to double. Boeing's estimate is even higher than that of rival Airbus.
Boeing expects global demand to rise to 35,280 aircraft by 2032, valuing $4,800 billion (3,600 billion euros), the US planemaker said on Tuesday.
The figures marked significant increases from estimates made in July 2012, when Boeing predicted 3.8 percent fewer sales and 7.0 percent lower revenues for the period between 2013 and 2032.
The upward revision came as Boeing predicted a rise in the number of passegners carried annually from three billion this year to 6 billion in 2032, said Randy Tinseth, Boeing's vice president for marketing.
Speaking in the run-up to the Le Bourget International Air Show in Paris, due to open next Monday, Tinseth also said that 60 percent of the demand would come from Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Markets in North America and Europe would account for the remaining 40 percent, equivalent to about 14,000 airplanes, he added.
Boeing predicted that about 24,670 of the about 35,000 new aircraft would be single-aisle planes, seating between 90 and 230 passengers. Only about 760 were expected to be large wide-body jets with a capacity of more than 400 passengers.
By contrast, rival European aircraft maker Airbus was more confident about future sales of big airplanes, predicting higher demand for its A380 superjumbo in view of growing passenger numbers.
Moreover, Airbus predicted that global demand would rise only to 28,200 aircraft by 2031 in its latest 20-year forecast released in September 2012.
According to figures also released by Boeing, the number of commercial airplanes in operation today stands at 20,310 aircraft. Taking into account the withdrawal from service of older planes, this would put the global fleet at 41,240 by 2032.
uhe/pfd (AP, AFP, dpa)