Airbus and Boeing each predict strong overall demand for new aircraft from the Middle East over the next 20 years, although the US airframer’s outlook is more robust.
While Airbus sees a need for 2,075 new aircraft – both passenger and freighter – Boeing puts the figure at 2,610.
Twin-aisle demand is particularly strong in the region, and this is reflected in both manufacturer’s forecasts.
Airbus estimates a need for 875 new twin-aisle jets – comprising 505 small and 370 intermediate – against 779 single-aisle airframes.
Boeing agrees that Middle Eastern airlines will “still favour” twin-aisle types and sees a market for 1,080 aircraft, split between 410 small and 670 medium widebodies.
Its outlook, however, is more optimistic than its rival's on the single-aisle front with a forecast for 1,240 aircraft in the sector.
But while Boeing puts the region’s need for large widebodies at 280 aircraft, Airbus believes the Middle East will host the second-largest demand, behind Asia-Pacific, for high-capacity types – which it defines as those with 400 seats or more – with deliveries of 345.
“The surge of the aviation industry in the Middle East is second to none in the world,” says Airbus.
It states that, over the last 20 years, the fleet of aircraft with over 100 seats has quadrupled, and that more than half of these aircraft are operated on medium- and long-haul routes.
Airbus calculates airlines in the Middle East will have the highest average traffic development over the next two decades, at 7.1% annually.
It also forecasts that the region will account for 76 new freighter deliveries by 2032, as well as 74 converted freighters.
Boeing concurs that the growth of Middle Eastern aviation has “outpaced the global average and will continue to do so”, and that fleet expansion is the “predominant strategy”, as demonstrated by strong aircraft orders from Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.