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Asia's largest airshow takes off in Hong Kong

The double-decker Airbus A380 may fly as low as 300 metres -- just off the territory's tallest landmark - the 1,400-foot International Finance Centre (IFC).

world Updated: Sep 03, 2007 08:47 IST

The world's largest passenger jet will fly past Hong Kong's mass of skyscrapers and the city's famed Victoria Harbour on Monday to raise the curtain for Asia's largest airshow.



The double-decker Airbus A380 may fly as low as 300 metres -- just off the territory's tallest landmark, the 1,400-foot International Finance Centre (IFC).



The spectacle will mark the beginning of the four-day show despite an accident in Bangkok that damaged the tip of the jumbo jet's left wing, forcing it to delay its Saturday takeoff on an Asian tour.



The Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress will see 500 exhibiting companies from more than 20 countries and 10,000 trade visitors in the city to scrutinise the latest industry developments.



The conference is being held in Hong Kong for the first time in 25 years, since it moved from its original home in Singapore, a shift that organisers say reflects the booming aviation market.



China boasts the world's fastest-growing airline passenger sector with domestic flights expected to double every five years and China's fleet of aircraft to quadruple in number over the next 20 years.



But the boom in aviation is not confined to China, according to industry experts, with South Asia also at the forefront.


Jim Eckes, managing director of Indoswiss Aviation, a consulting firm, said opportunities in the Indian market could be the biggest of all.