The Middle East will require 2,370 new airplanes, worth an estimated $470 billion, over a 20-year period from 2012 to 2031, according to new research from US-based aircraft maker Boeing. While 31 per cent of the demand (730 airplanes) will replace current fleet assets, 69 per cent is expected to be driven by the rapid growth of air travel in the region, said the report.
“The Middle East has consistently outperformed the global aviation market over the past few years, achieving traffic growth well above the world average,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“As the region’s leading carriers, such as Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, continue their global expansion plans we are seeing demand for new, efficient, long-haul aircraft, capable of connecting their hubs with any city in the world. With a backlog of almost 174,000 long-haul seats, the region’s carriers have significantly more long-haul capacity than airlines in other regions such as Europe and Asia.”
Currently, regional airlines have a backlog of 882 airplanes, 62 per cent of which are long-haul, twin-aisle and large aircraft.
Going ahead, Boeing forecasts that twin-aisle aircraft will account for 46 per cent of the region’s new airplane deliveries over the 20-year period – as compared to 23 per cent globally.
While single-aisle airplanes will account for 45 per cent of regional deliveries, large airplanes will account for eight per cent of forecasted demand. Regional jets are expected to account for the remaining one per cent, said the report.
As of October 2012, Boeing had a backlog of 4,234 airplanes, of which, 337 have been ordered by customers in the Middle East. The company currently has a total of 44 airline customers in the region that operate 476 Boeing airplanes.
“The Middle East’s continued success can largely be attributed to the strong business fundamentals of its airlines and their ability to successfully leverage natural geographic advantages,” said Tinseth.
Globally, Boeing has forecast a long-term demand for 34,000 new airplanes, valued at $4.5 trillion.