Boeing makes bright forecast for Middle East

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Airlines in region to need 3,350 new planes over 20 years

Growing airport hubs, diverse business models and strong infrastructure investments are all driving demand for new aircraft in the Middle East, Boeing says.

The aircraft manufacturer forecasts that airlines in the region will need 3,350 new planes over the next 20 years, valued at an estimated $730 billion (€624 billion). It presented its findings in its 2017 Current Market Outlook for the region at the Dubai Airshow.

“Traffic growth in the Middle East is expected to grow at 5.6% annually during the next 20 years,” said Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ vice president for marketing.

“The fact that 85% of the world’s population lives within an eight-hour flight of the Arabian Gulf, coupled with robust business models and investment in infrastructure, allows carriers in the Middle East to channel traffic through their hubs and offer one-stop service between many cities.”

Twin-aisle or single?
Twin-aisle aircraft are expected to make up nearly 50% of the new planes in the Middle East, representing in excess of 70% of the value, at $520 billion. Both of these percentages, Boeing points out, are significantly higher than the global average.

The strong long-term demand for widebody planes was reinforced at the show as Emirates announced a commitment to buy 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners in a deal valued at $15.1 billion.

But just over half of the total deliveries in the Middle East will be single-aisle aircraft such as the 737 MAX. Operators in the region will need 1,770 single-aisle planes valued at $190 billion, driven by the growth of low-cost carriers.

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