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Planemakers focus on growth as Singapore air show begins

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, at 10:32 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, at 6:39 a.m.

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Bombardier forecasts demand for about 1,000 business jets in the Asia-Pacific region, driven by replacement demand in mature countries and new demand for emerging countries, the company said.

There are about 115 Bombardier Learjets, Challenger and Global business jets now in operation in the Asia-Pacific region.

Demand for new commercial airplanes, meanwhile, will be driven by strong economic and passenger growth, Boeing said.

Boeing predicts demand for commercial airplanes in the region will total 12,820 in the next 20 years, with a value of $1.9 trillion.

The forecasts were released as the Singapore Airshow prepares to open on Tuesday. It runs through Sunday at the Changi Exhibition Center in Singapore.

Cessna, Beechcraft and Bombardier will be among the exhibitors at the show, as well as Boeing and Airbus.

Demand from the Asia-Pacific region will represent 36 percent of the world’s new commercial airplane deliveries over the next two decades, according to Boeing’s forecast.

“Asia Pacific economies and passenger traffic continue to exhibit strong growth,” Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing’s commercial airplanes division, said in a statement.

Demand will be driven by travel to and from the region and will nearly triple the fleet from 5,090 airplanes in 2012 to 14,750 airplanes in 2032 to support the demand, he said.

Boeing projects that passenger airlines in the region will rely primarily on single-aisle airplanes, such as the 737 and 737 MAX, an upgraded 737 with a new, fuel-efficient engine, it said.

Single-aisle airplanes will represent 69 percent of the new airplanes in the region, Boeing said.

Cessna will have its Citation Sovereign+, Citation XLS+, Grand Caravan EX and TTx airplanes on display at the show.

Beechcraft Corp., in Wichita, will be at the show displaying its special mission Beechcraft King Air 350ER, a commercial King Air 250 and the AT-6 light attack aircraft.

“We anticipate demand for special mission aircraft configurations will continue to increase in the region for a number of reasons, including advances to technology, which allows smaller aircraft to be used in various applications,” Dan Keady, Beechcraft senior vice president of special missions, said in a statement. “Other factors fueling growth include companies increasingly looking for business aircraft that can be used in multiple roles, growth in air travel, which is fueling demand for air calibration/flight inspection aircraft, and increased demand for special mission aircraft.”

Airbus, meanwhile, has brought its A350 XWB flight test aircraft to the show, where it will perform its first flying display.

Spirit AeroSystems, based in Wichita, is a supplier for the program.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mmcmillin.

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