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Asia Pacific airlines will need US$1.9 trillion worth of new jets by 2032: Boeing

US plane-maker Boeing estimated that Asia Pacific airlines will need US$1.9 trillion worth of new jets over the next 20 years as demand for air travel continued to boom.

SINGAPORE: US plane-maker Boeing estimated that Asia Pacific airlines will need US$1.9 trillion worth of new jets over the next 20 years as demand for air travel continued to boom.

The manufacturer of the 787 Dreamliner said the market will be increasingly dominated by single-aisle aircraft -- 69 per cent of the market from 2013 to 2032 -- driven by the growth from low-cost carriers.

It is non-stop production at the Boeing factory, where output rates are set to increase about 10 per cent this year.

Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: “We're increasing production rates. Last year, we produced 648 airplanes. And for 2014, we're on track to produce 715 to 725 aircraft. Our production rate is up about 10 per cent with orders led by the 777-x programme, and orders led by the the 737-max programme."

From building thirty-eight 737 aircraft a month, Boeing expects to supply forty-two 737 aircraft every month by the middle of this year.

Boeing said the production increase is driven by strong replacement demand in the US and Europe, and the growth it sees in emerging and developing economies.

Boeing estimated Asia Pacific Airlines will need nearly 13,000 airplanes over the next 20 years. And in 2014, new low-cost carriers and the demand for intra-asia travel will substantially increase the demand for single-aisle airplanes.

Indeed, Boeing expected narrow body aircraft or the 737 aircraft to represent about 69 per cent of new airplanes in the region.

While Europe-based plane-maker Airbus is Boeing's biggest competitor, competition is also emerging from elsewhere.

Mr Tinseth said: "We are seeing new competition from the Chinese, from the Canadians, from the Brazilians, from the Russians, from the Japanese -- the market is changing. They've struggled in the market. It's hard to bring new products to the market place. So we will assume that one or more of these companies will be successful. "

Greg Waldron, asia managing editor at Flightglobal, said: "We're seeing smaller companies like Bombardier and China's COMAX starting to move into the space traditionally occupied by single-aisle aircraft. But these players have a long way to go.

“The Chinese c919 is years away from its first flight. China's never developed an airline like this. It's extremely difficult to make this cost effective, economical, narrow body airline that carriers like to buy."

And with more aircraft manufacturers rushing to produce the most "in demand" planes, Mr Waldron said there is also the issue of finding people to fly them.

He explained: "Asia typically accounts for 40 to 50 per cent for all deliveries that take place every month. One of the big issues that will affect growth is training skilled pilots. A number of carriers are having trouble finding pilots locally and they're importing pilots from the west."

Whether there will be sufficient pilots or not, it seems neither Boeing nor its long term competitor, Airbus, will be letting up on supplying what the market wants.

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