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China set to become No1 aerospace market

Staff writer |
The biggest growth in the aerospace sector will come from the Far East in years to come, with China set to become the number one market, according to Airbus.

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Today, 32 million flights carry three billion passengers and 50 million tonnes of freight a year. Globally the aviation sector's economic impact is estimated at Pounds 1.5 trillion annually. Airbus' global market forecast predicts the growth will continue at a healthy rate.

The company predicts passenger traffic will grow annually at 4.7 percent driving a need for around 31,400 new passenger and freighter aircraft (100 seats and above).

The passenger and freighter fleet will increase from today's 18,500 aircraft to 37,500 by 2033, an increase of nearly 19,000 aircraft. Some 12,400 older less fuel efficient passenger and freighter aircraft will be retired.

That should be good for Bristol's world-leading aerospace cluster, although the fastest growth will come from emerging markets such as Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Already carriers such as Ethiad and Qatar are among the biggest customers for the soon-to-be-ready A350 XWB.

Airbus chief operating officer John Leahy said: "Aviation is growing impressively and our latest forecast confirms its long term growth. We see especially strong growth in wide-body twins such as our A350 XWB and A330neo.

"Demand exceeds supply for these new generation aircraft, especially in the 2017 to 2022 time period and beyond, so naturally we are studying production increases on both models."

The first A350 XWB will be delivered later this year while the first A330neo in 2017.

It predicts wide-body demand will include 7,800 twin aisle aircraft with between 250 and 400 seats and some 1,500 very large aircraft with over 400 seats for operation on the busiest routes. Almost half of the new passenger wide body planes will be delivered to carriers in the Asia-Pacific region, then the Middle East (16 percent) and Europe (15 percent). Annual aviation sector growth forecast by Airbus 4.7%.

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