Beijing (XFN-ASIA) - Embraer said it expects commercial air traffic in the Asia Pacific region to grow at an annual rate of 5.3 pct over the next 20 years, spurred by China, which the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer forecasts to grow at 7.5 pct.
The growth rates are well above the projected world average of 4.9 pct.The robust growth is based on the region's positive economic environment and greater accessibility to the market for new carriers, Embraer said in a statement.
Asia Pacific and China will represent 17 pct of worldwide aircraft deliveries over the next 20 years, it said. The latest forecast is 25 pct higher than previous estimates.
The company added that efforts to better connect second-tier cities signal good growth prospects for regional aviation in Asia, where fleets are still concentrated on narrow-body aircraft.
"Embraer expects that this fact, in conjunction with an ever-growing need to integrate secondary cities, plus new public policies, will motivate the development of regional transportation, thus creating major opportunities for regional aviation in the coming years," the statement said.
It added that about 50 pct of the 61 to 120-seat jets in service in the Asia Pacific region are over 20 years old and should be replaced in the near future.