The Middle East will continue to be one of the leading markets for wide-body aircraft in the near to medium-term future. In its latest Commercial Market Outlook for the region, Boeing projects demand for 1.570 wide bodies until 2040. Only Europe has an appetite for more at 1.690 widebodies. Middle East will remain robust widebody territory.
The Middle East outlook comes a month prior to the Dubai Airshow, the biggest commercial event in the region and traditionally an occasion where Gulf carriers buy in big numbers. While Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad Airways are still awaiting delivery of many Boeing 777X, 787s, and Airbus A350s that were ordered at previous Dubai Airshows to cater for their medium-term requirements, the trend in the region is of more growth, says Boeing.
Boeing’s managing director for the Middle East, Randy Heisey, says: “The Middle East region’s role as a global connecting hub continues to be important for developing markets to and from Southeast Asia, China, and Africa. The region has been a leader in restoring confident passenger travel through multi-faceted initiatives that aid international travel recovery.” Boeing presented its full CMO in September.
The ‘robust widebody demand’ for 1.570 airliners is to support the airlines’ growing international network. The single-aisle market will triple from the current 660 aircraft to 1.750 in 2040.
The outlook identifies a regional need for 160 full freighters. Already, Qatar and Emirates operate a large fleet of 777Fs and both airlines are keen to add new generation freighters to the fleet. Airbus launched its A350 Freighter this summer and is expected to announce its first customers in Dubai. Boeing will likely launch the 777-8F to rival the European product. The 777-9 will be showcased at the event and has been rehearsing the flight demonstration earlier this week.
The regional aircraft market remains a very small one in the Middle East, with demand for only 60 aircraft, says Boeing. All segments combined, the ME-region accounts for a fleet of 3.530 in 2040, the second biggest after the US (10.835) and Europe (9.140) but ahead of Latin America (3.095), Russia, and Central Asia (2.095), and Africa (1.560).
Aircraft needs are valued at $700 billion, with another $740 billion coming from services like maintenance and repair.