Middle East calls for more freighters

OVER the next 20 years carriers in the Middle East will demand almost 40 new freighters, a new Airbus forecast has found.

A total of 1,920 aircraft worth over US$347 billion will enter service with airlines in the region: 1,882 are passenger aircraft (US$336.3 billion) and 39 are freighter aircraft (US$11.1billion), Airbus’ latest Global Market forecast (GMF) said.

In the freighter aircraft category there will be a demand for 13 twin-aisle aircraft and 26 VLA aircraft.

The main drivers of the continued strong demand for new aircraft include fleet expansion and replacement, greater urbanisation, an increasing number of mega cities and the overall on-going expansion of the region as a geographical hub and tourist destination.

Middle Eastern carriers are increasingly choosing larger aircraft due to the growing number of global hubs in the region, and particularly within aircraft families for the reduced training and maintenance costs, reduced fuel burn and environmental benefits they bring.

“The Middle East remains one of the world’s most robust aviation regions and this is confirmed by a 200 per cent increase in inter-regional passenger traffic over the last 10 years,” John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, customers, said. “The region is uniquely placed with more than 85 per cent of the world’s population within reach of a direct flight, making the Middle East a fertile market place for our eco-efficient aircraft today and beyond.”

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