The Asia Pacific region is set to become the world's largest aviation market over the next two decades with a likely requirement for 8,960 new commercial jets worth approximately $1.1 trillion, according to a Boeing forecast. Released Wednesday at the Asian Aerospace Expo in Hong Kong, the forecast says the region will become the world's largest air travel market in less than 10 years.
"Twenty years from now more than 40 per cent of the world's airline traffic will begin, end or take place within the Asia Pacific region," Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, says in the statement. "That's a big leap for a region that was not even mentioned in our earliest Boeing market forecasts back in the 1950s."
The Asia Pacific region, which includes Japan, Korea, China, Australia and India, currently accounts for more than 8,300 flights and 1.2 million travellers daily.
According to the forecast, air travel in the region is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 6.5 per cent over the next 20 years, bringing the region's share of the world's market from 32 per cent now to 41 per cent in 2028.
"This is clearly a difficult time in the aviation market, and today's challenges are reflected in the Boeing forecast, but we do expect the growing Asia markets to lead the industry into recovery," Tinseth said.
Boeing says 5,600 of the deliveries would be single-aisle planes, thanks to strong domestic growth in China, India and other emerging Asian nations. It also said the Asia Pacific fleet would surge from 3,910 airplanes now to 11,170 in 2028.
Meanwhile, air cargo routes within China and Asia, and connecting Asia to other regions will grow faster than the worldwide average over the next 20 years, with Asian carriers adding about 750 freighters, Boeing said.
"Despite an unprecedented contraction during 2008 and 2009, we remain confident in the strength of the global air cargo market over the long haul," Jim Edgar, regional director of cargo marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in the statement. "The air cargo industry is supported by sound fundamentals - the imperative for speed, consumer product innovation and global industrial interdependence are key drivers -- as well as global GDP projections of about three per cent annual growth."