February 3, 2010 / 6:53 AM / 9 years ago

AIRSHOW-UPDATE 1-Airbus sees recovery in air traffic in 2010

*Says 25-35 pct total orders this yr to come from Asia

*Sees the number of A380 orders at around 10 this year

*To make 20 A380s this year to catch up production delay (Updates with more details)

By Mariko Katsumura and Harry Suhartono

SINGAPORE, Feb 3 (Reuters) - European aerospace giant Airbus said on Wednesday it sees a recovery in global traffic volume in 2010, but expects its sales of aircraft this year to remain flat.

The company expects to sell around 10 A380 superjumbo jets, the world’s biggest aircraft, in 2010, compared with four last year and nine in 2008.

Overall orders for aircraft in 2010 are only likely to be around 250-300, against 310 last year and 900 in 2008, company officials said.

In the longer-term, Airbus sees Asia driving growth in plane orders and expects the region to buy 8,000 aircraft worth $1.2 trillion in the next 20 years and become the world’s largest air transport market, ahead of the United States and Europe.

Expectations are for global demand for almost 25,000 new passenger and freighter aircraft valued at $3.1 trillion between 2009 and 2028, Airbus said in a statement.

A drop in global passenger demand because of the global economic crisis led to Airbus, a unit of Aerospace and Defense giant EADS EAD.PA, and rival Boeing (BA.N) facing their worst annual orders last year in at least 15 years.

But the world’s economy appears to be on a recovery path and so is global air travel passenger volume, Airbus sales chief John Leahy told reporters at the Singapore Airshow.

“Everybody was talking about recession... but we actually think we are coming out the other side,” Leahy said, referring to data showing 3.2 percent global air traffic growth in January and a 14.2 percent spike in emerging markets.

He said about 25-35 percent of the expected 250-300 orders this year should come from the Asia-Pacific region.

The company plans to manufacture about 20 A380s this year.

Airbus, which competes with arch-rival Boeing Co. (BA.N), has a backlog of 178 A380s on order, but the European maker has been struggling to meet delivery schedules due to production delays.

Airbus was forced to abandon efforts to sell the A380 to ANA last year due to the financial crisis. [ID:nT358385]

Airlines spent $62 billion on new aircraft in 2008 before the global financial crisis kicked in.

Boeing said on Tuesday it expects new orders for commercial aircraft this year to fall short of deliveries and no increase in demand until 2012. [ID:nSGE611057] (Additional reporting by Caroline Jacobs in PARIS; editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Jean Yoon)

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