Airlines in the Middle East continue to surpass competitors world-wide, and Boeing now estimates that the region will require an estimated 2,520 planes (worth $450 billion) by 2030. That figure represents a growth rate of 160 percent from the current fleet of 1,040 planes. 66 percent of the new planes will be used for fleet expansion. The remainder will be used to replace existing aircraft. “The collective capacity of three airlines, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, has grown by an average of 23 percent annually over the past decade and we expect this trend to continue well into the future. All three airlines base their growth strategies on the principle that newer, more efficient airplanes will provide a competitive advantage over their rivals from Europe and Asia,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President of Marketing Randy Tinseth said. “This visionary approach of investing in the future has allowed the region’s airlines stay ahead of the competition.”
In what Boeing hopes to be an omen of good things to come, the company yesterday signed its biggest ever civil airliner deal with Emirates. In a deal valued at $26 billion, Emirates ordered 50 777-300ER jets, and an option for 20 more. Emirates now operates 90 of the 777’s, the world’s largest fleet.