SINGAPORE (Feb 14): Traffic growth of 5.3% per annum and accelerated retirement of older less fuel-efficient aircraft will see the Asia-Pacific region require 17,620 new passenger and freighter aircraft by 2040, according to Airbus.

“Nearly 30% of these will replace older less fuel-efficient models,” the European aircraft manufacturer said in its latest report released here on Monday (Feb 14).

It said in a region that is home to 55% of the world’s population, China, India and emerging economies such as Vietnam and Indonesia would be the principal drivers of growth in Asia-Pacific.

The report said the region’s gross domestic product (GDP) would grow at 3.6% per year, compared to the world average of 2.5% and double in value by 2040.

“The middle class, who are the likeliest to travel, will increase by 1.1 billion to 3.2 billion and the propensity for people to travel is set to almost triple by 2040,” it said.

According to Airbus, of the 17,620 aircraft in demand, 13,660 are in the small category like the A220 and A320 family. Read more