Over the last five years, no other region in the world has seen air travel, as measured by revenue-passenger kilometers and cargo traffic, grow faster than the Middle East, which has experienced an average growth rate of 12 percent. Boeing forecasts the future passenger traffic growth rate of the region to be 5.2 percent through 2026.
Gulf carrier Qatar Airways yesterday signed an order for five Boeing 777F cargo aircraft and took options on a further five. It also confirmed orders for 22 others previously from unidentified buyers–fourteen 777-300ERs, six -200LRs and two 777F cargo variants.
Boeing has pushed back by three months production of the first 747-8, the latest iteration of its venerable flagship, citing a need to avoid “operational risk” as it switches from the manufacture of the current 747-400 model. The move will provide additional time for completion of engineering work for the new variant.
With a rash of new civil aircraft orders widely expected at the show this week, Airbus and Boeing continue to enjoy the fruits of the ongoing industry boom. U.S.
manufacturer Boeing could see its year-end tally again reach 1,000 units, while its European competitor prepares to issue plenty of news here in Dubai to follow its slew of announcements at the Paris Air Show in June.
With a characteristically nimble response to market demand, Emirates Airline hastily re-scheduled an announcement here yesterday of more than $30 billion worth of aircraft orders to accommodate the presence of Dubai ruler HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.
The variety of types and average size of business and private aircraft is changing here in the Middle East, with new customers increasingly willing to fly in medium-sized jets that would have seemed out of the question in this market a few years ago.
Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle Mubadala Development Co. (Stand W300) has enlisted the aid of some of aerospace’s biggest names in pursuit of the United Arab Emirates’ aim to become a producer and investor in the industry as well as a major customer. The company says its entry into aerospace will be “organized in carefully planned stages and is likely to involve significant investment in the first few years.”
Introduction of A380 flights is being seen by Airbus as a precursor to “a new wave of orders” for the airliner. The European airframer’s Asia Pacific executive sales vice president, Edouard Ullmo, said earlier this year there likely would be a hiatus as prospective A380 operators considered the aircraft’s initial operations with Singapore Airways (SIA) before choosing between it and the Boeing 747-8I (or the smaller 777).
In Boeing’s estimation, the Middle East will become the third largest market in the world for jumbo-sized airplanes over the next 20 years.
If the question is where to find a home in the sky, Greenpoint Technologies has an answer. The Kirkland, Wash.-based completion and refurbishment center recently unveiled its SkyHome 2010 concept design for an executive version of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.