Boeing Co. and Airbus SAS offered starkly different forecasts for the airline industry, with the European plane maker predicting a 4% jump in air travel next year, while its American rival sees no recovery before 2011. "2010 will be a year of economic recovery, but 2011 will be the year for air-travel recovery," according to Boeing's marketing chief. Meanwhile, an Airbus official at the Hong Kong air show said the "trough of the recession" was already past for the airline industry. "In 2009, we believe total traffic is down 2%. In 2010 we may experience a 4.6% growth rate," he said. Both companies are dealing with slumping orders and deferrals as cash-strapped airlines hold off on buying new planes.

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Bloomberg, USA Today

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