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BRASILIA, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Embraer SA, the world's largest maker of regional aircraft, forecast on Wednesday that Asia-Pacific carriers will take delivery of a total of 1,500 jets in the 70-130 seat capacity range over the next 20 years, worth around $70 billion.
The Brazil-based company projects the Asia-Pacific region will become the world's largest market for aircraft makers over the next two decades as an growing middle-class in countries like China and India drives up demand for air travel.
"A positive economic outlook and intra-regional liberalization will drive air transport demand in Asia-Pacific to increase 6 percent annually by 2032," the company said.
"As the low cost carrier model matures in the region, airlines now have further incentives to search for new opportunities."
Nearly two-thirds of projected deliveries for the total Asia-Pacific market are expected to support airline growth, while the remainder will be used to replace ageing aircraft, Embraer said in a statement.
The company has more than an 80 percent share of the Asia-Pacific market for 70-130 seat jets.
Embraer has a global market share of 51 percent of orders and 62 percent of deliveries since 2004 in the 70-130 seat segment. It has delivered nearly 150 of its medium-range E-Jets to 10 operators from six countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
"Passenger traffic in the Asia-Pacific region is mostly composed of secondary markets with low and medium demand densities of up to 300 passengers daily each way," said Paulo Cesar Silva, Embraer's head of commercial aviation.
The company also said on Wednesday it had signed a deal with U.S.-based Hawker Pacific Aerospace Inc for maintenance and support services for its Legacy 500 and Legacy 450 executive jets in the Asia-Pacific region.
Embraer shares are up about 22 percent in the past 12 months, easily outperforming Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index , which dropped 17 percent in the period.