DALLAS – To accommodate an exponential increase in passenger traffic, airlines in the Middle East would more than double the size of their fleets to roughly 3,000 commercial jets valued at US$765bn over the next 20 years, predicted US aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
According to Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), a projection of demand for the next 20 years, wide-bodied aircraft will supply 43% of this future demand, the biggest share of any region, as both the passenger volume and commercial fleet are expected to more than double as air travel and tourism continue to fuel economic growth.
Boeing’s demand forecast is comparable to that of its transatlantic rival Airbus, which forecasts that 3,020 new passenger and freight aircraft deliveries will be necessary by 2040 for airlines operating in the Middle East region.
Middle Eastern carriers have overcome difficulties caused by the pandemic by changing their business strategies and using more freighters to increase income. According to Boeing, the region’s fleet will eventually grow to 3,400 aircraft to accommodate the region’s rapidly expanding passenger and cargo demand.
Middle Eastern Outlook
While one-third of the planned deliveries will replace older aircraft with more fuel-efficient models like the Boeing 737 MAX, 787 Dreamliner, and 777X, more than two-thirds will support growth.
Notably, the amount of air cargo traffic flown by Middle Eastern carriers has continued to increase significantly over the past few years; two of the top five cargo carriers in the world by tonnage are based there. The Middle East freighter fleet is anticipated to more than double from its pre-pandemic level to 170 by 2041 in order to meet future demand.
The region’s passenger traffic is anticipated to increase by 4% yearly, and there have been 1,290 widebody aircraft deliveries to support the region’s expanding international route network.
The number of single-aisle aircraft in the Middle East will more than double to 1,650, serving both domestic and foreign routes. Demand for commercial aftermarket services, such as maintenance and repair, is estimated at US$275bn.
According to Boeing’s 2022 Pilot and Technician Outlook, the region will also require 202,000 new aviation professionals over the next 20 years, including 53,000 pilots, 50,000 technicians, and 99,000 cabin crew members.
Featured image: A7-BBA Qatar Airways Boeing 777-200LR. Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways