Airbus SAS expects airlines in Asia Pacific to buy 9,870 aircraft worth $1.6 trillion in the next two decades fueled by travel growth in the region.

Wide-body aircraft, or planes with twin aisles, will lead the demand, Airbus Chief Operating Officer John Leahy said in Singapore today.

Asia-Pacific will lead demand for new aircraft as economic growth in the region will help boost the number of middle class population by almost five-times by 2031, according to Airbus. Global demand for new passenger and cargo planes are expected to reach 28,200 by 2031, worth $4 trillion, Airbus said in September.

About 50 low-fare airlines are competing with full-service carriers to boost their share of traffic in Asia-Pacific. Singapore Airlines Ltd.’s Scoot and Qantas Airways Ltd.’s Jetstar Airways Pty are among those that have ordered aircraft worth about $47 billion from Boeing and Airbus for delivery over the next 10 years.

The region will account for 33 percent of global passengers in 2016, according to the International Air Transport Association. Budget carriers’ market share in the Asia-Pacific region rose to 24 percent last year from 1.1 percent in 2001, according to the CAPA Centre for Aviation, an industry consultancy.

Travel within Asia Pacific overtook intra-North America as the world’s biggest aviation market in 2009, according to IATA. The region’s passenger growth, both domestic and international, is expected to add about 380 million travelers between 2012 and 2016 to 1.2 billion, IATA forecast in December.

With assistance from Vipin V. Nair in Mumbai. Editor: Vipin V. Nair and Anand Krishnamoorthy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kyunghee Park in Singapore at To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at

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