DUBAI: As regional and international travel and cargo demand recover, airlines in the Middle East will require 3,000 new aircraft valued at $700 billion and aftermarket services such as maintenance and repair worth $740 billion, Boeing predicted in a report on Wednesday.
In its 2021 Commercial Market Outlook — a forecast of 20-year demand for commercial airplanes and services — the aerospace company said more than two-thirds of airplane deliveries to the Middle East will accommodate growth, while one-third of deliveries will replace older airplanes with more fuel-efficient models such as the 737 MAX, 787 Dreamliner and 777X.
The report expects the Middle East passenger traffic and commercial fleet to more than double over the forecast period.
“The Middle East’s role as a global connecting hub continues to be important for developing markets to and from Southeast Asia, China, and Africa,” said Randy Heisey, Boeing managing director of commercial marketing for the Middle East.
“The region has been a leader in restoring confident passenger travel through multi-faceted initiatives that aid international travel recovery.”
Airfreight represents an ongoing area of opportunity for Middle East airlines, with the freighter fleet projected to nearly double from 80 airplanes in 2019 to 150 by 2040.
Air cargo traffic flown by Middle East carriers has increased since 2020 by nearly 20 percent, with two of the world’s top-five cargo carriers based in the region.
According to the report, regional airlines are expected to grow their fleets to 3,530 jets through 2040 to accommodate increased passenger and cargo traffic.
“The region will continue to see robust wide-body demand, with 1,570 deliveries supporting a growing network of international routes,” it added.
The report estimates the current single-aisle fleet of 660 airplanes to nearly triple to 1,750 jets.
Boeing’s 2021 Pilot and Technician Outlook forecasts that the region is estimated to require 223,000 new aviation personnel by 2040, including 54,000 pilots, 51,000 technicians, and 91,000 cabin crew members.