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Regional Sales Forecasts Reflect Importance of Middle East as Hub

The Middle East, most particularly the Arabian (or Persian) Gulf area, is the center of the commercial-aviation universe, according to the manufacturers. “The unique geographic positioning allows [local] carriers to capture a significant share of long-haul market growth,” according to Embraer.

“The concept of connecting through the region is decades old, but the competitive landscape is ripe for broadening and passengers will likely benefit from increased competition.” Airbus agrees, pointing out that the location provides an aviation stepping stone between almost any two global geographic points: “Most people are just one flight away from the Middle East. The region’s proximity to the world’s population and growth markets has been a key in its aviation success.” Operating at the crossroads between Asia, Africa, and Europe, the region’s airlines are well positioned to compete for connecting traffic, says Boeing, which forecasts 20-year Middle East demand for 3,350 jet passenger and cargo aircraft of all sizes.

“About 80 percent of the world’s population lives within an eight-hour flight. Growth prospects for these connecting markets are strong—driven by expected improvements in regional GDP per capita .” Boeing characterizes leading long-haul airlines “in or near the Middle East” as “global ‘super-connector’ carriers,” a sub-category of network airlines, whose location will “help drive higher-than-average growth on those routes.” These airlines have a “one-stop-to-anywhere” business model that focuses on providing connections between markets to the east and west of their hubs and helps drive higher-than-average growth on those routes. Boeing says that the region’s carriers have captured significant [market] share from Europe to destinations such as Australia, India, and Southeast Asia.

The Middle East, which Airbus does not define by constituent territories, will need some 2,588 new passenger and cargo aircraft by 2036, approximately 520 for replacement of older-generation aircraft, and around 2,070 for growth, says the European manufacturer. It expects 730 current machines to remain in service in 20 years’ time. The perceived demand comprises 1,082 single-aisle and 1,078 twin-aisle designs, and 428 very-large aircraft (VLA), plus 22 midsize and 40 large freighters. {[These numbers do not add up. I added the numbers in the last sentence and got 2650, which is about 100 more aircraft than is mentioned in the first sentence. I do not have the press release to resolve}} Boeing sees requirements in the region (including Egypt and Iran, but not Turkey) for 3,350 new jetliners: 20 regional jets (of up to 90 seats), 1,770 single-aisle machines, 590 small twin-aisle designs, 910 medium, large and very-large twin-aisle aircraft and 60 freighters of all sizes. Canadian manufacturer Bombardier, whose Middle East market forecast includes Cyprus, Iran, Israel, Turkey and 12 regular Arab states, estimates a 20-year market for 200 large regional aircraft (with at least 60 seats) and 250 machines in the up-to-150 passenger single-aisle category. Embraer predicts Middle East requirements for 2,440 new airliners over the coming 20 years. Demand for these aircraft arises from fast-expanding traffic (revenue passenger-miles/kilometres (RPM/K), the Brazilian manufacturer saying that by 2036, the Middle East and Asia […]

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