On the day the A380 touched down in China as part of its test flight programme, European planemaker Airbus claimed the world is likely to need nearly 23,000 new aircraft over the next 25 years, worth more than two trillion euros. This is around 5,400 jets more than previously forecast and means the number of passenger planes will more than double over the next two decades. More than 70 per cent of these new planes will probably be single-aisle types, with demand highest in Europe and North America.
Twin-aisle planes are likely to represent some 42 per cent of the total value with superjumbos accounting for 20 per cent. Airbus says much of the new demand is coming from emerging markets such as China and India, where development of low-cost airlines is poised to accelerate growth in air travel among a growing middle class.
It also revealed that its share of new orders by value has shrunk to about 36 per cent this year as US rival Boeing grabbed more sales for mid-size and larger jets. Meanwhile, management at Airbus’ parent company EADS is set to meet on Friday to prepare an official decision on the launch of the redesigned A350.