Airbus aims to catch up Boeing in mainland China by selling 50 percent of the aircraft operating there by 2011, the European planemaker said on Wednesday.
Airbus, which plans to open a single-aisle assembly plant in China in 2009, forecasts mainland Chinese demand for more than 3,000 airliners and freighters from 2006 to 2005, including 2,050 single-aisle jets and 180 very large planes.
China will need close to 400 freighters over the next 20 years, Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS (EAD.PA: Quote, Profile , Research), said.
"In terms of in-service aircraft, Airbus's market share on the Chinese Mainland has already increased from 7 per cent in 1995 to the current 35 per cent. Our aim is to reach 50 per cent in 2011," Airbus sales chief John Leahy said in a statement.
"In the next 20 years, the greatest demand for passenger aircraft will come from the Chinese Mainland just after the United States," he added.
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All 40 aircraft, which have a list price of $2.8 billion, will be delivered between 2009 and 2012, the statement said.