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Boeing ups forecast for Northeast Asian aircraft market

TOKYO (Reuters) - Boeing Co on Wednesday raised its forecast for the Northeast Asia aircraft market to 1,360 jets worth $280 billion over the next two decades, compared to a previous forecast for 1,270 planes.

Randy Tinseth, Boeing's vice president in charge of marketing for commercial aircraft, announced the prediction during a briefing in Tokyo.

Boeing, in its last 20 year market projection for the region, covering Japan, Taiwan and the Korean peninsula, expected sales of commercial aircraft to be worth $220 billion. In its latest forecast Boeing expects replacement of existing aircraft to make up 55 percent of demand.

Tinseth's visit to Japan, which accounts for the biggest portion of the Northeast Asian market, follows a decision by Japan Airlines Co <9201.T> to buy its first ever jets from Europe's Airbus , ordering 31 Airbus A350s for delivery beginning in 2019.

In doing so JAL rejected a bid by Boeing to sell it the 777X, an updated version of the 777 it has yet to officially launch, threatening the U.S. aircraft makers' dominance in a market where four out of five jetliners are Boeing aircraft.

The rival aircraft makers are now battling to win an order at JAL's rival ANA Holdings <9202.T>, which is also looking to replace around 30 of its aging 777 with new long-haul jets.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly)