Airbus has revealed it expects up to a third of total demand for new aircraft to come from Asia over the next 20 years.
With economic growth in the region set to fuel demand over the coming two decades, the European plane manufacturer outlined ambitions to sell 8,560 aircraft to Asian carriers.
About a quarter of Airbus’ aircraft orders are presently from Asia-Pacific.
However, Airbus expects passenger numbers carried by Asia-Pacific airlines to rise by 5.8 per cent annually, outpacing global growth of 4.8 per cent.
In total Airbus expects to maintain its global market share for commercial aircraft sales at approximately 50 per cent over the next decade, despite new entrants to the industry – despite the rise of new challengers from BRIC competitors.
“It just means for us to maintain that market share we cannot sit back and be idle,” Christopher Emerson, senior vice-president of product strategy at Airbus explined.
“The Airbus forecast is for Asia is based on stronger-than-average growth in passenger and freight traffic in the region, combined with the replacement of many existing aircraft in service.”
Last year Airbus sold 644 aircraft with a list value of more than $84 billion, while rival Boeing saw 625 planes delivered.
Emerson went on to forecast Asian carriers would order 3,360 wide-bodied aircraft and 5,200 new planes in the 100-210 seat category over the next 20 years.
While the best-selling A320 series is expected to remain popular, Airbus remains on course to deliver its first A380 to a Chinese airline, China Southern Airlines, in the second half of 2011.
This is despite an explosion on board a Qantas operated A380 in 2010.
China Southern is the only Chinese airline to have ordered the aircraft.