SINGAPORE  - Boeing's much-delayed 787 Dreamliner is set to star at the Singapore Airshow this week where companies touting private jets and defence hardware to the Asian market will also be out in force.

The fuel-efficient, lightweight B787, whose first customer is Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA), was flown in over the weekend in preparation for the Tuesday opening of the trade fair. Boeing has been dogged by production delays to its showpiece aircraft and ANA has so far received just five of the mid-sized jets, three years after the first plane was originally scheduled for delivery. It ultimately expects to receive 55 Dreamliners.

Not to be outdone in Singapore, Airbus -- US-based Boeing's European rival -- will display a large-scale model of its A350 XWB which is still under development and is scheduled to enter into service by 2014. The A350 XWB is a mid-size long-range plane which its makers tout as using 25 percent less fuel than similar sized aircraft in use today.

With Europe mired in a debt crisis and the US economic recovery still gaining traction, the world's aircraft makers, major defence contractors and aerospace companies are looking at Asia's robust markets, analysts say. Singapore second minister for trade and industry S. Iswaran said Asia will account for 29 percent of global aircraft deliveries by 2026, and 32 percent of world air traffic in 2028.

"This will create huge downstream potential in areas like demand for airplane components and services like aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul in the region," Iswaran said in a recent speech.

"I think makers like Bombardier, Gulfstream and Embraer have more to offer in terms of the growing private jet business in mainland China and parts of Southeast Asia," he told AFP.