Mideast airline fleets to expand by 150% by 2029

Region makes up half of the value of Boeing's international backlog.
NEWS, Aviation


Middle Eastern carriers will require around 2,340 new aircraft – a 150 percent increase– by 2029 to satisfy the growing demand in the local aviation industry, Boeing predicted Sunday. The value of those orders is worth an estimated $390bn.

The US manufacturer also said that the region made up 50 percent of the value of Boeing’s entire backlog of orders. In terms of long-haul capacity, the Middle East has around 140,000 seats waiting to be delivered, far ahead of Asia (60,000) and Europe (50,000), the historical leaders of the long-haul sector. Of those new planes, around half will be twin-aisle – with the lion’s share of these being Boeing’s 777 and 787, and Airbus A330, A340 and A350 aircraft.

Boeing’s 20-year forecast also showed that available seat miles (ASMs) – a measure of airline traffic – rose from 2.8bn to 8.6bn weekly between 2001 and 2011 in the region. Low-cost carriers are expected to fare well over the next 10 years; Boeing said that the category’s share in regional ASMs would rise from four to 10 percent by 2019. The launch of Air Arabia in 2003 spawned a series of similar low-cost operations, which are operating with various degrees of success.

Boeing currently has a backlog of 345 aircraft orders in the Middle East, 10 percent of a total global orderbook of 3,455. However, regional airlines are major investors in the US firm’s larger aircraft, accounting for 31 percent of 777s and 15 percent of 787s on order.

“We expect global passenger traffic of 6.5 percent growth, and cargo traffic of 5.5 percent growth in 2011 – so not quite as good as 2011,” Boeing vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth told reporters in Dubai on Sunday. “Profitability will be down as well due to the higher fuel price.”

IATA has said that for every $1 that is added to the oil price, the airline industry worldwide forfeits $1.6bn in profits.

Worldwide, the manufacturer said that airlines would need 30,900 new aircraft valued at $3.6 trillion by 2029.

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