Paris (AFP) - Aviation giant Boeing on Thursday raised its forecast for aircraft demand, saying it now expects to deliver 36,770 planes over the next two decades in deals worth $5.2 trillion (3.8 trillion euros).
Boeing's latest forecast is up 4.2 percent from last year's, with about a third of the total demand expected to come from the Asia-Pacific region.
The maker of the best-selling 737 jetliner said rising demand for single-aisle planes from low-cost carriers is expected to drive growth.
Boeing forecast it will sell some 25,680 new airplanes in this sector, making up some 70 percent of predicted sales.
"Based on the overwhelming amount of orders and deliveries, we see the heart of the single-aisle market in the 160-seat range," said Randy Tinseth, vice president for marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
"There's no question the market is converging to this size, where network flexibility and cost efficiency meet."
The higher forecast comes amid concerns about the outlook for the aviation sector after Air France-KLM and Lufthansa both cut their earnings targets due to weak demand.
Boeing this month reported it had received a net 499 in new orders in the first half of the year, outpacing European rival Airbus. Together the two groups dominate the global market for passenger airliners.
Airbus is expected to unveil billions of dollars worth of contracts at next week's key biennial Farnborough airshow in England, where the two companies will go head-to-head in the fight for new orders.
On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that Indian carrier IndiGo could order more than 200 A320neo jets, in a deal worth more than $20 billion.
Boeing said in a statement it expects deliveries for single-aisle aircraft -- which include the new 737-800 and 737 MAX 8 -- to reach $2.56 trillion in the next two decades.
In the twin-aisle segment, including the 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliner range, the company expects to deliver 8,600 new airplanes.
"This year's forecast reflects a continued shift in demand from very large airplanes to efficient new twin-engine products such as the 787-10 and new 777X," according to the Boeing statement.