15 Mar 2005

Airbus foresees huge market in Pacific

7:18 am on 15 March 2005

The European aircraft manufacturer, AIRBUS, is predicting that airlines in the Pacific will need to buy 490 new jet airliners worth 60 billion US dollars by 2023.

Airbus' regional media manager, David Vellupillai, says the figure comprises 240 aircraft currently flown by Pacific carriers, all of which will need to be replaced, plus 250 aircraft needed for growth.

The forecast is based on an analysis of 13 carriers in 8 Pacific countries.

Mr Vellupillai says the largest category of aircraft needed will be the 100-210 seat type such as the Airbus A320 of which 280 will be required.

As well, there will be a need for 40 jets in the 250-300 seat category and even larger planes such as the 550-seat A380 double-decker super jumbo which is due to start flying next year.

Air Calin, Air Tahiti Nui, Air New Zealand and Qantas are already flying Airbus aircraft with the latter two having a further 41 on order.