Airbus raises 20-year forecast for aircraft demand

Image caption,
Airbus's John Leahy says he expects demand to boom in China and India

European aircraft-maker Airbus has raised its 20-year forecast for plane demand and passenger traffic, pointing to strong growth in new markets.

It also says the expansion of low-cost airlines in Asia will help boost sales.

Airbus is predicting deliveries of almost 26,000 new passenger and freight aircraft worth $3.2 trillion (2.4tn euros; £2tn) between 2010 and 2029.

That is an increase of 900 aircraft compared to its previous annual forecast.

"Demand for travel is doubling every 15 years... but in places like India and China we expect to double in the next six years," Airbus sales chief John Leahy said.

Demand is also rising in the Middle East and South America, the firm said.

And Mr Leahy added that the aircraft manufacturing sector had proved resilient in the face of the downturn.

The firm said much of the increase in aircraft demand will be in the single-aisle category, which it serves with its A320 series.

And Airbus predicts average annual growth in passenger traffic of 4.8% over the 2010-2029 period.

That is up from a previous 20-year forecast of 4.7%.

Its figures are slightly below those put forward by US rival Boeing, which says the airline industry will need $3.6tn in new aircraft between now and 2029.

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