Boeing projects $450 billion aircraft market in the Middle East

Boeing estimates that the Middle East's fleet of passenger aircraft will grow from a current fleet of 1040 aircraft to a projected 2710 aircraft, an increase of 160%.

34% of the projected demand will be for airplanes to replace current aircraft, while 66% will be part of fleet expansion plans as the region's airlines gear up for significant growth.

"The Middle East has seen an unprecedented growth in capacity over the past 10 years and every indication points to a further, significantly large increase over the next 20 years," says Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President of Marketing Randy Tinseth, who presented Boeing's Current Market Outlook report at the 2011 Dubai Airshow this week.

"The region's airlines with their forward thinking approach have become a competitive force globally."

Single- and twin-aisle airplanes will account for 90% of the Middle East's new aircraft deliveries over the 20-year period, according to the Boeing forecast. An estimated 1160 single-aisle jets, such as the Boeing 737 MAX, and 1110 twin-aisle airplanes, such as the Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner, are expected to be delivered to the region during this time.

The remaining 10% is split between large airplanes such as the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental and will account for 7% of projected demand, with an estimated 180 airplanes to be delivered to airlines in the Middle East.

Regional jets will account for the remaining 3%.

"The collective capacity of three airlines, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways has grown by an average of 23% annually over the past decade and we expect this trend to continue well into the future," said Tinseth.

"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."