Market presence & forecast
Welcome to Airbus Middle East
Since its creation over three decades ago, Airbus has enjoyed an ever-growing partnership with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. From the first order for an A300 aircraft placed in 1978, today nearly 700 aircraft have been delivered and over 1,250 aircraft have been ordered by airlines in the region.
This customer base now includes over 40 airlines in nearly 30 countries from the east Atlantic coast to the Indian Ocean, with flagship and national carriers, low-cost and smaller regional operators, in addition to MENA-based leasing companies. Airbus has evolved into a key element of the flourishing airline industry in the MENA region with cutting-edge products and reliable services.
With an advantageous geographical location and fast paced economic development, the region has witnessed unprecedented growth in air transportation sector. Realising the Middle East and North Africa region’s importance in the air transport sector, Airbus in 2006 made the strategic decision to create an Airbus Middle East subsidiary with the purpose of better serving the needs and requirements of a fast-growing customer base.
The Airbus Middle East office is located at the heart of Dubai Airport Free Zone, UAE, and manages all commercial and customer support activities in the region – including marketing, sales, contracts, customer relations, spare parts, training and technical support.
Airbus presence in the MENA region
Since the first Airbus aircraft delivered into the region over 30 years ago, there are now close to 700 Airbus aircraft of all types flying with operators across MENA – and this is continually increasing. The Airbus fleet being operated in the Middle East and Northern Africa region consists of 54 per cent single-aisle A320 Family, 35 per cent wide-body aircraft, and 11 per cent A380 aircraft. With approximately 365 in service today, the Airbus A320 Family is the most popular passenger aircraft type in this region.
Thanks to the sustained growth and expansion of airlines throughout this region, today an increasing proportion of Airbus orders belong to carriers from MENA. Middle East and North Africa airlines such as Etihad and Qatar Airways have accounted for a significant percentage of orders for Airbus’ latest product: the A350 XWB. In addition, other major carriers such as Saudi Arabian Airlines, Air Arabia, and Egyptair have taken delivery of significant numbers of single aisle and wide-body Airbus aircraft to meet their growth.
For a complete and detailed list of Airbus operators in the Middle East and Northern Africa region, please visit the Orders and Deliveries page to download the complete O&Ds excel table and select the 'Middle East' tab in the excel file.
Forecast for the region
The Middle East is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world. The airlines of the region are setting the standards for the future of global commercial aviation. Their fleets are some of the youngest in the world and their levels of excellence are the new benchmark for passenger comfort, operating efficiency and network connectivity.
The region’s airlines are also using their geographic advantage with great effect.
Taking Abu Dhabi as an example, 99.9% of the global urban population is included within a range circle of 15,000 km centred on the city. In other words, the A380 could be used to connect 99.9% of urban people from Abu Dhabi with a direct flight.
Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast predicts an annual growth rate of 5.7 percent in air traffic for the Middle East region during the next 20 years. This increase is well above the forecast for the global traffic at 4.5 percent per annum.
Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast predicts an annual growth rate of 6 per cent in air traffic for the Middle East region during the next 20 years. This increase is well above the forecast for the global traffic at 4.6 per cent per annum.
Air traffic forecast
In order to foster continued economic development of the region, particularly non-oil related, to encourage more tourism and to transport business travellers, the Middle East region is establishing an impressive fleet of passenger aircraft. In fact, the share of passenger aircraft in the world operated by the regions carriers has doubled in 10 years. North Africa has also been experiencing sustained growth when it comes to air travel. Of note has been an increase of 228 per cent in air traffic between Middle East and North Africa over the past decade.
Aircraft demand forecast
According to Airbus Global Market Forecast, the total passenger fleet of airlines domiciled in the Middle East will grow by some 2,400 new passenger aircraft deliveries by 2034.