Asian airlines to invest 1 trln usd dollars on planes in next 20 yrs - Boeing

Singapore (AFX) - Airlines in the Asia Pacific region will

invest more than 1 trln usd over the next 20 years to acquire thousands of new

aircraft to meet growing traffic demand, aircraft maker Boeing said Monday.

The region will need a total of 8,350 new planes over the two decades, Boeing said.

Asia-Pacific is set to be the biggest market for new aircraft deliveries in terms of the value of the orders, accounting for 36 percent or 1.02 trln usd of the 2.8 trln usd that airlines are projected to spend in the next 20 years. Globally, the airline industry will require more than 28,600 aircraft over the next two decades, said Boeing.

Rapid economic growth is one of the key drivers fuelling Asia's robust air traffic growth which, in turn, means airlines in the region will require new planes to cater to more travellers, said Randy Tinseth, Boeing's vice president for commercial airplanes.

"Within the Asia Pacific market, we see the strongest growth at 6.7 percent per year within the region," Tinseth said at a media briefing.

"This is a market that continues to liberalize... This is a market where trade is very strong," he said.

With liberalization in the region as well as globally, airlines will start to offer more non-stop services in order to improve efficiency, Boeing said.

This is where demand for fuel efficient planes like the 787 Dreamliner will come from, said Tinseth.

"Airlines have accommodated growth in our industry by flying more airplanes to more places rather than flying bigger and bigger airplanes between the destinations," he said.

"Now what's important to us is we expect this trend to continue in exactly the same way... That's the reason we chose to make an investment in an airplane like the 787."

The 787 Dreamliner is Boeing's new generation mid-sized airliner for long-haul flights and has been marketed as a fuel-efficient plane offering savings for airlines.

The US group said it received more than 630 firm orders for the aircraft, which is to enter service in mid-2008, and the 787 order book is valued at nearly 100 bln usd at catalogue prices.

Boeing's 787 continues to eclipse Airbus's rival product, the A350, despite a handful of recent orders for the European group.

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