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Boeing Expects Middle East Commercial Fleet To Reach 3,500 By 2039

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Boeing Co. (BA) said it expects Middle East commercial fleet to reach 3,500 by 2039, more than double the current 1,510 airplanes, to cater to the growth in the region and fleet replacements, according to the Boeing's 2020 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), an annual forecast of 20-year demand for commercial airplanes and services.

The aircraft maker anticipates demand for 2,945 new airplanes in the Middle East valued at $685 billion over the next two decades, as the industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boeing forecasts Middle East demand for 1,280 new widebody passenger airplanes by 2039. The CMO forecasts a recovery to pre-pandemic trends in the medium and long term in the widebody segment.

The CMO also projects a near tripling of the single-aisle fleet by 2039 as domestic and short-haul markets are expected to recover earlier from pandemic effects. Middle East single-aisle seat capacity more than doubled over the past five years.

These new airplanes will be required to meet the projected average passenger traffic growth of 4.3 percent per year in the Middle East over the next 20 years, which is above the global average of 4 percent growth per year.

Meanwhile, the total global commercial fleet is expected to return to its growth trend, generating demand for more than 43,000 new airplanes over the next 20 years, according to the 2020 CMO.

"The current market disruption will shape airline fleet strategies long into the future as airlines focus on building versatile fleets that provide future network flexibility, maximizing capability while minimizing risk and improving efficiency and sustainability," said Darren Hulst, Boeing vice president of Commercial Marketing.

The freighter fleet of Middle East airlines is projected to nearly double to 150 by 2039 from 80 in 2019 as Middle East carriers have grown their share in the world air cargo traffic to 13 percent from just 4 percent in 1999.

The Middle East is seen as one of the fastest growing aviation services markets in the world as it connects the rapidly growing Asian economies and the more mature markets in Europe.

Boeing projects an opportunity valued at $725 billion for Middle East commercial services over the next 20-years. These include requirements for supply chain and maintenance, repair and overhaul capability and software solutions to reduce operating costs and improve efficiency.

The Middle East region is estimated to require 223,000 new aviation personnel by 2039, including 58,000 pilots, 59,000 technicians and 106,000 cabin crew members.

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