Singapore Airshow highlights

Asia's airplane fleet to triple by 2032: Boeing

Boeing flies high on passenger traffic, 2014 orders

Asia-Pacific is set to account for almost 40 percent of the world's new airplane deliveries over the next two decades, according to the world's largest plane maker Boeing.

The company forecasts the region's airlines will need an additional 12,820 airplanes valued at $1.9 trillion, representing 36 percent of purchases worldwide.

"Asia Pacific economies and passenger traffic continue to exhibit strong growth," said Randy Tinseth, vice president, Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes during a media briefing ahead of the opening of the Singapore Airshow.

(Read more: SingaporeAirshow 2014 to highlight the rise of Asia)

"Over the next 20 years, nearly half of the world's air traffic growth will be driven by travel to, from or within the region. The Asia Pacific fleet will nearly triple, from 5,090 airplanes in 2012 to 14,750 airplanes in 2032, to support the increased demand."

Single-aisle airplanes will represent around 70 percent of the new airplanes in the region, driven by demand by new low-cost carriers and intra-Asia travel.

As for long-haul traffic, Boeing forecasts twin-aisle airplanes such as the 747-8 Intercontinental, 777 and the 787 Dreamliner will account for almost 30 percent of new airplane deliveries.

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Addressing concerns around the Dreamliner – which has been hit by a variety of technical and safety glitches since its launch in 2011 – Tinseth said, "We've had 65,000 flights on the aircraft carrying more than 10 million passengers. The reality of the airplane is about 98 percent, but frankly it has to get better and we've investing to make sure it gets better."

(Read more: Boeing's Dreamliner nightmare: PR fail or tech mess?)

"We're working with our customers; we're putting more assets on the ground so that at some point in the new future that airplane performs on a reliability basis just as good as the 777," he told CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box."

Boeing vs. Airbus: Competitions heats up

With rival Airbus set to debut the A350 XWB at the Singapore Airshow this week, the wide-bodied, passenger aircraft is expected to steal the limelight from Boeing.

Tinseth responded by saying, "We had the opportunity last year to launch two new programs – the 777x and the 787-10 – it talks a great deal about the health of this industry. We see new products coming in from our competitors, they are raising the bar. It makes that competition more intense."

(Read more: Overcapacity a threat to airline sector: Garuda CEO)

"So we have to stay close to our customers in this challenging and competitive environment, make sure we have the right strategy and work hard to reduce the cost of building our airplanes," he added.

Last year, Boeing and Airbus were locked in a tight race for orders and deliveries in 2013, with the former delivering 648 aircraft and taking 1,355 orders, and the latter delivering 626 aircraft and taking 1,503 orders, according to Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

—By CNBC's Ansuya Harjani. Follow her on Twitter:@Ansuya_H