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Airbus raises plane demand prediction

Airbus raises plane demand prediction
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The latest forecast from Airbus is for 27,800 new aircraft in the skies in next 20 years as air travel grows.

The European planemaker believes the trend towards bigger aircraft will continue and says it could also review its plan for a larger version of the A380 by the end of the decade.

By 2030, Airbus thinks the global passenger plane fleet will more than double from 15,000 to 31,500.

The figure, which was part of an annual market survey by the company, includes 900 freighters to keep up with a projected expansion in global trade.

Airbus shrugged off turmoil in financial markets, saying population growth and urbanisation would continue to promote strong aviation demand.

The industry has recovered more quickly than expected from the last recession but some are nervous over the short-term outlook.

“Some airlines are bracing for a slowdown in business traffic, even in Asia, but all we are talking about is a softening in the growth rate,” Airbus sales chief John Leahy said.

“The recovery in the aviation industry perhaps overreached its trend a little bit and we will see a bit of a slowdown or flat period, but by 2012 we will end up in the same place as we would have been. This is a real growth story,” he added.

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