Airbus’s latest global market forecast has predicted there will be a demand for 25,000 new passenger and freighter aircraft valued at $3.1tn between 2009 and 2028.

The major factors identified as driving the demand include emerging economies, evolving airline networks, expanding low-cost carriers and increasing number of mega-cities along with traffic growth and replacement of older less-efficient aircraft with more eco-efficient airliners.

According to the forecast, larger aircraft in all size categories will help ease aircraft congestion and accommodate growth on existing routes and achieve more with less.

Airbus anticipates a 4.7% annual increase in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) over the next 20 years creating a demand for about 24,100 new passenger aircraft worth $2.9tn.

In the freight market, a demand for 3,440 freighters is foreseen with the airfreight ton kilometres potential increase annually by 5.2%. Over 850 of these are new aircraft valued at $210bn and the remainder will be converted from passenger aircraft.

Airbus chief operating officer – customers John Leahy said that air transportation is a growth industry, and an essential ingredient in the world economy.

“Technology and innovation are key drivers for an eco-efficient aviation sector,” he said.

The forecast also predicts that Asia-Pacific and emerging markets will see the greatest demand for passenger aircraft with China and India accounting for 31%, followed by Europe and North America.

The company foresees demand for a requirement for over 1,700 very large aircraft seating more than 400 passengers.

In the twin-aisle aircraft segment some 6,250 new passenger and freighter aircraft will be delivered in the next 20 years of which 4,240 will be small twin-aisle and about 2,010 intermediate twin aisles.

The Airbus global market forecast analyses world air transport developments, covering 300 distinct passenger and freight traffic flows, nearly 750 passenger airlines and 190 freighter operators over the next 20 years.