Airbus says Asia-Pacific will be key driver of growth

Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:50am EST
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By Siva Govindasamy and Tim Hepher

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) claimed bragging rights as the Asia-Pacific's dominant aircraft supplier on Tuesday, saying the region's fast growing economies and rising passenger demand will continue to drive demand over the next 20 years.

The European planemaker said that in 2013, it won 80 percent of all new business in the Asia-Pacific with 379 firm orders. It also delivered 331 new aircraft, or over half of all new planes that entered into service with the region's airlines, it added.

Speaking at the Singapore Airshow, senior executives from the European planemaker added that they were optimistic about more orders from the region's full-service carriers and budget airlines despite ongoing concerns about the health of emerging markets, many of which are located in the Asia-Pacific.

"The message from me is very clear. This (Asia-Pacific) is where the action will be for the industry in the coming years," Fabrice Bregier, head of Airbus planemaking division, said at a news conference.

There is demand for 11,000 aircraft worth $1.8 trillion in the 20 years to 2032, said Airbus. The total fleet size is expected to more than double to over 12,130 jets, based on average annual traffic growth of 5.8 per cent and replacement of nearly 3,770 aircraft in service today, it added.

Boeing (BA.N: Quote) projected similar figures on Monday.

Growing urbanization means that 25 of the 89 mega cities in 2032 will be in Asia-Pacific, where there will also be 90 cities with more than one million passengers, said the company.

China will also overtake the United States as the world's largest domestic airline market by 2032, said Airbus sales chief John Leahy.   Continued...

An Airbus A350 flies during an aerial display at the Singapore Airshow February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su