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US aerospace giant Boeing has forecast a global marketplace for new aircraft worth $US3.2 trillion ($3.36 trillion) over the next two decades, with China overtaking North America by 2027.
The world's airlines and freight companies will need about 29,400 new aircraft over the next 20 years, including orders made since the start of 2008, Boeing said today in its Current Market Outlook for 2008.
The company had forecast last year that the global market would be worth $US2.8 trillion ($2.94 trillion) up to 2026, with new orders totalling 28,600 aircraft.
"The Chinese market today is very small but 20 years from now it will be bigger than today's North American market,'' said Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing, unveiling Boeing's 20-year outlook.
"We're seeing a very dynamic and challenging situation today in the commercial aviation industry,'' he said.
"In the past we've faced many other challenges, recessions and oil crises, and what we have learned is that we are in a very resilient industry.''
Boeing's latest forecasts are based on global economic growth of 3.2 per cent annually throughout the forecast period, with passenger traffic rising 5.0 per cent and cargo 5.8 per cent per year.
"We see a bigger demand for replacing older, less efficient aircraft,'' Mr Tinseth said.
"We're seeing an increasing share of airplane deliveries to the Asia Pacific region, as well as the Middle East, Latin America and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS, formerly the Soviet Union),'' he said.