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Airbus sees world aircraft fleet doubling by 2032

LONDON Airbus is predicting that nearly 30,000 new aircraft will have to be built globally in the next 20 years, largely to satisfy demand in emerging markets, particularly China.

Unveiling its forecasts through to 2032, the European jet maker says Tuesday that air traffic will grow 4.7 percent annually. That will require over 29,200 new passenger and freighter aircraft, of which 10,400 to replace existing planes. Airbus values the new aircraft needs at $4.4 trillion.

By 2032, Airbus says the worldwide fleet will double to nearly 36,560.

Airbus says there are many factors behind the increase, such as a bigger global middle class, urbanization, migration and tourism.

John Leahy, Airbus' chief operating officer for customers, says that by 2032 Asia Pacific will overtake Europe and North America in terms of traffic.