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ForecastBoeing estimates airlines in the Asia-Pacific region’s will need 12,820 new airplanes valued at US$1.9 trillion over the next 20 years.

The American aircraft manufacturer’s forecast came on the eve of the opening of the Singapore Airshow.

“Over the next 20 years, nearly half of the world’s air traffic growth will be driven by travel to, from or within the region,” Randy Tinseth of Boeing Commercial Airplanes told a media briefing.

“The Asia Pacific fleet will nearly triple, from 5,090 airplanes in 2012 to 14,750 airplanes in 2032, to support the increased demand.”

Boeing also projected that airlines in the region will rely primarily on single-aisle airplanes, representing 69 per cent of the new airplanes in the region.

Boeing said new low-cost carriers and demand for intra-Asia travel had spurred a substantial increase in single-aisle airplanes.

It added that this trend will continue as single-aisle airplanes gain an increasing percentage of the region’s traffic.

The A350 in Singapore. Airbus Photo.

The A350 in Singapore. Airbus Photo.

Boeing’s European rival, Airbus, is showcasing its new wide-body aircraft, A350 XWB, at the show.

On its way to Singapore, the test aircraft passed the 1,000 flight-hour milestone, Airbus said Monday.

“Overall the five A350 test aircraft will fly 2,500 flight hours in just over 12 months,” Airbus said.

“This achievement is further demonstration of the steady progress the program is making on its way to type certification in the third quarter of 2014.”

The six-day Singapore Airshow, which has attracted nearly 900 companies from 50 countries, opens Tuesday.

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