Orders for 28,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years will be spurred by growing demand from emerging markets, Airbus predicts.

The European manufacturer expects the overall global passenger plane fleet to more than double from 15,500 to 32,550 by 2031.

The Asia Pacific region will account for the biggest part of the £2.45 trillion-worth of new aircraft.

Passenger traffic should grow by about 4.7% a year over the same period.

Airbus’s order projections are more optimistic than last year, with the company now expecting 1.3% more production than originally predicted.

The Asia Pacific region will account for 35% of new aircraft deliveries, more than any other region. Europe and North America will take 21% each.

Domestic flights within China and India will become more significant than some international routes, Airbus’s head of sales John Leahy said.

Flights within China are expected to overtake US domestic flights as the biggest traffic flow by 2031.

The Airbus forecast is marginally below Boeing’s expectations of 34,000 new aircraft to be ordered over the period, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Leahy said: “Aside from growth in international traffic, by 2031 four of the world’s biggest traffic flows will all be domestic – US, China, intra-western Europe and India.

“In 20 years from now, China’s domestic passenger traffic will overtake the US domestic traffic to become the number one traffic flow, in our forecast.

“Aviation is not just essential for international commerce but also for domestic economies too.”