[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 July 2006, 23:59 GMT 00:59 UK
Plane market 'to see huge growth'
Boeing 737 aeroplane taking off
Boeing expects the market for smaller planes to take off
Airlines are set to pump $2.6 trillion (1.4 trillion) into buying new commercial jets over the next 20 years, aerospace group Boeing has predicted.

They are expected to expand their fleets with smaller 100- to 400-seat models amid rising demand, Boeing said.

Meanwhile, with fuel costs growing many carriers are expected to update their fleets with more fuel efficient planes.

The forecast is a direct blow to rival Airbus which has pumped millions into developing its A380 superjumbo.

Overall, Boeing expects airlines to take delivery of 27,200 new passenger jets and cargo planes by 2025 - doubling the world fleet.

Surging demand

Most of those planes - 65% - will go to airlines expanding their fleets amid rising demand for frequent and non-stop flights. The rest will replace planes that are being retired.

"We're forecasting a continued strong long-term demand for new airplanes over the next 20 years," said Boeing commercial airplanes vice president of marketing, Randy Baseler.

He added that increased concerns about fuel consumption and costs would also change the face of airline fleets as planes became quieter and reduced their emissions.

"Improved fuel efficiency and increased range will allow airlines to take more travellers directly where they want to go, when they want to go," he said.

Growing markets

The fast growing Asian market is expected to lead demand for new aircraft - taking a 36% share of the forecast $2.6 trillion market.

Strong demand is also predicted from emerging markets in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

But in a blow to forecasts delivered two years ago by Airbus - which predicted greater demand for jumbo jets - Boeing expects smaller planes with one and two aisles to make up the majority of new orders.

"The single-aisle and twin-aisle categories make up about 86% of the market value in our forecast," Mr Baseler said.

"In the long-haul transoceanic and Asia-Europe markets, twin-aisle airplanes will dominate the world fleet."

Negative publicity

Airbus had gambled that larger planes - including its superjumbo which seats about 555 passengers - would be the key to its future.

But that strategy has recently come under question as its flagship A380 plane has received no new orders this year, and most interest has surrounded its single-aisle aircraft such as the A319 and A321.

Airbus has also suffered amid a rash of negative publicity concerning a scandal at the firm and numerous delays to deliveries of the A380.

Falling demand for Airbus planes
11 Jul 06 |  Business
Boeing optimistic on aid dispute
03 May 06 |  Business
Boeing profits top market targets
26 Apr 06 |  Business
Boeing will build 'stretch' 787
27 Mar 06 |  Business
Boeing surprises with profit news
01 Feb 06 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific