Mideast 'needs 640 planes in 20 years'


Boeing has estimated that the Middle East will need 640 airplanes worth around $63 billion within the next twenty years, a report said.

Airliners, in general, need 24,000 new aircraft worth $1.8 trillion and this includes 18 per cent of business jets and four per cent of 747s, said Mathew De La Haye, vice president, international corporate communications, the Boeing company, at the Boeing Middle East Media symposium.

Boeing estimated those figures because it foresees an improvement in the travel and airline industries at the beginning of the coming year, the liberalisation of the air travel sector and open skies policies in this region.

The company estimated the volume of the airline market in the Middle East at $3.1 trillion Ñ a 25 per cent share of the overall global market.

The figure is expected to double in the coming period, said Douglas Groseclose, senior vice president, Boeing commerical airplanes. He said that international markets have somehow recovered from the 1990 Gulf War and the September 11 reprecussions,

Gorseclose said that Boeing is optimistic about future growth that will cover the losses incurred by manufacturers-including decline in production operations, employment cuts and travel movement. He expected world economy to grow notably in the near future and the aircraft manufacturing industry to consequently expand.

De La Haye, however, expected that the airline movement, which is linked to the global economy, will grow on the short run.

Many airliners expanded their new destinations and Emirates has succeeded to increase its destinations from 33 in 1991 to 68 in 2001.