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Boeing sees Mideast air traffic up 7.1% over 20 yrs

September 28, 2010 3:35 by

Plane maker Boeing Co expects a near quadrupling of air traffic in the Middle East over the next 20 years, as its young populations take to the skies.

The planemaker said the annual average traffic growth rate in the region over the next two decades would be 7.1 percent, which equates to a 287 percent rise over the period, running ahead of global annual traffic growth of 5.3 percent.

The manufacturer also said it forecast a requirement for 2,340 new airplanes in the region by 2029, and expected the market would continue to be dominated by twin-aisle, long-range airplanes, which account for almost 43 percent of demand.

“The Middle East continues to outperform the rest of the world in air travel growth and is poised to continue growing over the next 20 years,” Martin Bentrott, Boeing vice president of sales for the Middle East, Central Asia and India said in a statement.

“In fact, Middle East demographics, where over half the population is under the age of 25, favour continued growth since younger people will account for much of the future market,” he added.

Boeing, the world’s second-largest commercial airplane manufacturer after Airbus, took several large orders during the Farnborough Airshow in July, with Dubai’s Emirates airline ordering 30 777s, a deal potentially worth $9 billion.

Other regional carriers are also focused on expanding fleets and launching new routes, including Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, and Air Arabia.

In its latest revised report, the International Air Transport Association expected Middle Eastern carriers to realise a significant rise in profits from $100 million previously forecast to $400 million, benefiting from strong regional economies and an expanded share of long-haul markets.

(Reporting by Tamara Walid; Editing by Will Waterman)

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