China to become world's largest air market: Airbus official

Updated 2017-06-10 10:52:37 Xinhua

"Asia Pacific continues to be an engine for growth, with domestic China to become the world's largest market," said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer -- Customers of Commercial Aircraft, of the European aircraft maker Airbus on Friday.

"Air travel is remarkably resilient to external shocks and doubles every 15 years... Disposable incomes are growing and in emerging economies the number of people taking a flight will nearly triple by 2036," he said while presenting Airbus' latest Global Market Forecast 2017-2036.

In its report, the European aircraft maker expected the world's passenger aircraft fleet above 100 seats to more than double in the next two decades to over 40,000 planes as traffic is set to grow at 4.4 percent per year.

As a result, "nearly 35,000 aircraft valued at 5.3 trillion U.S. dollars (will be) required in the next 20 years," Airbus said.

Home of 6.4 billion population, emerging markets including China, India, the rest of Asia and Latin America is set to account for about half of the world's private consumption by 2036, it expected.

It added that over 70 percent of new units are single aisle with 60 percent for growth and 40 percent for replacement of less fuel efficient aircraft.

"A doubling in the commercial fleet over the next 20 years sees a need for 530,000 new pilots and 550,000 new maintenance engineers, and provides Airbus' global services business a catalyst to grow," the aircraft manufacturer said.

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