AIRSHOW-Boeing sees Asia-Pacific fleet nearly tripling over 20 yrs


* Boeing maintains forecast for global demand at $4.8 trlnover 20 yrs

* Asia-Pacific fleet seen nearly tripling in size by 2032

* Budget carriers fuel demand for single-aisle planes

By Anshuman Daga

SINGAPORE, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Boeing maintained its20-year forecast for airplane demand at $4.8 trillion, andpredicted that nearly half of the world's air traffic growthwould be driven by travel to, from or within the Asia-Pacificover the next two decades.

Boeing estimated airlines in the Asia Pacific region wouldneed an additional 12,820 jets valued at $1.9 trillion over thenext 20 years. It said the fleet would rise to 14,750 in 2032,from 5,090 in 2012.

"Asia Pacific economies and passenger traffic continue toexhibit strong growth," Randy Tinseth, vice president ofmarketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes told a media briefingon Monday ahead of the Singapore Airshow.

"Over the next 20 years, nearly half of the world's airtraffic growth will be driven by travel to, from or within theregion. The Asia Pacific fleet will nearly triple, from 5,090airplanes in 2012 to 14,750 airplanes in 2032, to support theincreased demand."

Both Airbus and Boeing have committed to recordproduction rates for their most popular models, but executivesare closely watching the financial turmoil in key aviationmarkets such as Indonesia and Thailand.

Asia Pacific is home to some of the world's biggestlong-haul carriers and budget carriers AirAsia andLion Air have placed aircraft orders valued at billions ofdollars and are among the biggest customers of Boeing and Airbus.

Boeing's data projects that passenger airlines in the regionwill rely primarily on single-aisle airplanes such as theNext-Generation 737 and the 737 Max, a new engine-variant of the737, to connect passengers. Single-aisle airplanes willrepresent 69 percent of the new airplanes in the region.

"New low-cost carriers and demand for intra-Asia travel havefueled the substantial increase in single-aisle airplanes,"Tinseth said.

After a record $200 billion of deals at last November'sDubai Airshow, few expect Asian buyers to be ordering in similarquantities - yet the Feb. 11-16 event in Singapore will test theappetite of one of aviation's fastest growing regions.

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