Engines valued at a total of about £330 billion will be required to power the commercial aircraft needed over the next 20 years, Rolls-Royce forecast yesterday.
The Derby-based aeroengine giant said as many as 51,000 commercial aircraft, ranging from business jets to high-capacity airliners, were likely to take to the skies in the next two decades.
The aircraft - with the big demand coming from the Asia Pacific region - would need as many as 114,000 jet engines.
Rolls-Royce made its upbeat forecast on the opening day of the Farnborough Air Show.
The company's Trent engines power the 555-seat Airbus A380 superjumbo flying at the show.
T he company said it believed high fuel prices will drive airlines to focus even harder on operating cost benefits of highly efficient, newgeneration jetliners.
Demand from China is expected to total 6,500 engines valued at around £36 billion through to 2026.
India is also seen as a major emerging force in commercial aviation. It is expected to provide a potential market in its own right for at least 1,600 engines in the next 20 years.
Rolls forecast planes in the single-aisle, 110 to 180-seat segment as being those most in demand over the next 20 years, with these aircraft needing about £100 billion worth of engines.
The largest sector by value, however, is viewed as that involving small and medium twin-aisle aircraft of 250-350 seats, triggering engine sales worth about £128 billion, with 40 per cent of the demand coming from Asia.
Rolls-Royce also expects to see strong and growing demand for aircraft in the 400-plus seats category.
These ultra-large aircraft are expected to need engines worth about £46 billion.
Rapid growth in the large business aircraft sector is seen as a major factor within the corporate jet market, which is expected to generate a requirement for 51,000 engines with a value of about £39 billion.
The forecast from RollsRoyce came as the company announced that its Trent 1000 engines had been chosen by International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) - the world's largest aircraft leasing company - to power up to 20 firm and option Boeing 787 Dreamliners in a deal potentially $600 million (£327.8 million) at list prices.
In addition, the engines will be offered to ILFC's lessees with services agreements, offering lifetime protection for each powerplant.
ILFC is scheduled to receive the first of its Trentpowered Boeing 787s in 2010.
Mike Terrett, president - civil aerospace at Rolls-Royce, said: "The versatility of the Trent 1000-powered 787 is a good strategic fit for ILFC due to the excellent economics it offers across a range of operations. It gives their customers extensive potential for their route networks, whilst at the same time providing ILFC with a flexible solution to fit many customers' needs."
Meanwhile, India's Deccan Aviation will buy 60 new engines from joint venture International Aero Engines, a spokeswoman for the company said yesterday.
The engines would be for low-cost carrier Air Deccan's Airbus aircraft.
IAE is a multinational consortium of United Technologies' subsidiary Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, Japanese Aero Engines Corpora-tion and Germany's MTU Aero Engones.