World's Aircraft Demand Still Growing

Top officials from Boeing, which now forecasts a $4.5 trillion market in new airplanes during the next 20 years, and other big names in the industry are heading to London for the Farnborough Airshow.

One of the biggest aviation events in the world, the Farnborough Airshow, is about to begin, and the outlook for aircraft manufacturers could hardly be brighter. Boeing announced July 3 that it now projects 34,000 new airplanes, a $4.5 trillion market, will be needed in the next 20 years as the current world fleet doubles in size. Airbus announced a day earlier that it will begin assembling A320 aircraft in the United States for the first time on an assembly line in Mobile, Ala., where Airbus already has an engineering center.

"The time is right for Airbus to expand in America," said Fabrice Brégier, president and CEO of Airbus. "The U.S. is the largest single-aisle aircraft market in the world, with a projected need for 4,600 aircraft over the next 20 years, and this assembly line brings us closer to our customers. Mobile is now becoming part of Airbus' global production network, joining our successful and growing assembly lines in Hamburg, Toulouse and Tianjin."

Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes' VP of marketing, announced the numbers from the Boeing 2012 Current Market Outlook ahead of the Farnborough event outside London. The airshow takes place July 9-15. "The world's aviation market is broader, deeper, and more diverse than we've ever seen it," said Tinseth. "It has proven to be resilient even during some very challenging years and is driving production rate increases across the board."

Boeing expects single-aisle aircraft demand to grow even as demand for wide-body aircraft outpaces it, with the latter category accounting for almost $2.5 trillion of new airplane deliveries.

About 120,000 people attended the 2010 Farnborough Airshow, where manufacturers announced $47 billion worth of orders. The event is held in alternate years for one week in July, with five trade days followed by a weekend open to the public.

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