Global demand for aircraft to be up at 24,300 by 2026: Airbus forecast

London: European aircraft manufacturer Airbus issued its latest 20-year forecast on Thursday saying that global demand for passenger and freight aircraft, between now and 2026 would likely touch a figure of 24,300. The price tag for this demand would be an amazing $2.8 trillion, and Asia was set to become the largest passenger market.

The current estimate is higher than the previous one by 1,600 aircraft, mainly on the expectation that older, less fuel-efficient aircraft will be phased out early because of the sharp rise in the price of oil, as well as environmental concerns.

The Toulouse-based manufacturer also said that it had raised an internal target for sales of its new super jumbo A380 on the back of the up-tick in the global forecast. The forecast includes an estimate that there will be a demand for 1,700 very large aircraft, seating at least 400 passengers.

The A380 is the only aircraft that matches the requirements, Airbus chief operating officer – customers, John Leahy, said.

Both Boeing and Airbus have experienced record breaking sales year upon year with Boeing notching 1,413 orders to Airbus's 1,341. Both have downgraded sales forecast for 2008, but say that existing backlogs will keep them at record production levels well into the coming decade.