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'Golden Age' Of Aviation Beginning

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A spokesman for a major aircraft leasing company says a new "golden age" of aviation is upon us and will persist for at least a decade. Dick Forsbergh, head of strategy for Avolon, an Irish leasing company, told a Manila newspaper that aviation is a fundamental component of economic expansion and developing economies all over the world will continue to snap them up. "We are actually entering a golden age of aviation, for which the past 20 years have been a mere warm up," Forsbergh said, adding that although aviation seems to gather a lot of negative press, it consistently outlasts the doomsayers. "Despite dire predictions the past decade taught the industry leaders not to be overly concerned about the sustainability of the airline industry," he said.

Forsbergh said the fundamentals of the industry look especially good going into the next decade. There are deep pools of capital available for companies to expand and modernize fleets to meet the coming demand. Most forecasts estimate about 30,000 new airliners will be delivered over the next 20 years. "If aviation were a country, it would rank 19th in terms of GDP [gross domestic product]; by 2026, the industry will contribute $1 trillion to the world economy," he said.

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