VIP versions of Boeing's latest two aircraft - the 747-8 and the 787 - will be flying presidents and royalty by 2012.

The US airframer says the oil- and gas-rich Middle East is the biggest source of demand for head of state variants of its newest widebodies. Boeing has eight orders for its stretch Jumbo Jet, all from governments, and 12 for the Dreamliner, three of which are destined for heads of state.

The first 747-8 will arrive for completion at the end of 2011, with several arriving in the following months, says Stephen Taylor, president Boeing Business Jets.

The first head of state 787 will come off the production line in Seattle in mid-2012, with one delivered a year after that.

After a handful of deferrals or cancellations for Boeing Business Jets - based on the 737 - and corporate widebodies, Taylor says there is "evidence our part of the market is recovering".

Source: Flight Daily News