The Middle East has seen unprecedented growth in capacity over the past 10 years and every indication points to a further, significantly large increase over the next 20 years, said Boeing Commercial Airplanes' Vice President of Marketing, Randy Tinseth, who presented Boeing's Current Market Outlook at the 2011 Dubai Air Show. The region's airlines with their forward thinking approach have become a competitive force globally, he added.
Boeing estimates that the Middle East's fleet of passenger airplanes will grow 160 percent to a projected 2,710 airplanes from a current fleet of 1,040 airplanes. In addition, the company also said that 34 percent of the projected demand will be for airplanes to replace current aircraft, while the remaining will be part of fleet expansion plans as the region's airlines gear up for significant growth over the next two decades.
Single and twin-aisle airplanes will account for 90 percent of the Middle East's new deliveries over a 20-year period, according to the Boeing forecast.
An estimated 1,160 single-aisle jets, such as the Boeing 737 MAX, and 1,110 twin-aisle airplanes, such as the Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner, are expected to be delivered to the region during this time. The balance ten percent will be split between large airplanes, such as the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental and will account for 7 percent of projected demand, with an estimated 180 airplanes to be delivered to airlines in the Middle East. Regional jets will account for the remaining 3 percent.
As of Sept. 14, Boeing had a backlog of 300 airplanes in the Middle East. Customers in the region count for a large share of Boeing's twin-aisle backlog, accounting for 26 percent of 777s and 15 percent of 787s on order. Boeing currently has a total of 47 customers in the region, who operate an estimated 1,200 flights per day on 425 Boeing airplanes.
The collective capacity of three airlines, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways has grown by an average of 23 percent annually over the past decade and we expect this trend to continue well into the future. All three airlines base their growth strategies on the principle that newer, more efficient airplanes will provide a competitive advantage over their rivals from Europe and Asia, Tinseth said.
This visionary approach of investing in the future has allowed the region's airlines to stay ahead of the competition. With a range of airplanes that fulfill the region's requirement for capacity expansion and improved operating efficiencies, Boeing is well positioned to meet the region's needs, Tinseth added.