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 more than 1,200 aircraft have been ordered by airlines in the region.
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.
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.
The Airbus Middle East office is located at the heart of Dubai Airport Free Zone, UAE, and employs over 75 professionals. In addition to the commercial unit, the subsidiary includes Airbus Corporate Jets, Airbus Spares Centre, and Airbus Training Centre.
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 more than 50 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, 38 per cent wide-body aircraft, and 8 per cent very large A380 aircraft. With more than around 370 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 the latest Airbus products: the A350 XWB and the A380. 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
Thanks to advantageous geographical location, rich natural resources, increasingly educated young population, and developing tourism industries across this region, the Middle East and Northern Africa has, over the past years, been able to emerge as air traffic cross roads of global importance.
Historically, the region has also proved its resilience and ability of quick recovery to regional and global downturns affecting air travel industry. The region’s performance during the recent global economic crisis in 2008-2009 is a testament of MENA’s resilience. According to IATA, the region was the only one to record positive growth in the first quarter of 2009.
The region’s airlines are 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, a VLA like 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 6.2 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 4.7 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 2,148 new passenger aircraft deliveries by the end of 2033.
Airbus ProSky, the Air Traffic Management (ATM) subsidiary of Airbus, is dedicated to increasing ATM capabilities. Since the inception in 2011, Airbus ProSky has solidified its global presence by developing regional offices around the world.
With its regional headquarters in the United Arab Emirates (serving the Middle East and North Africa), Airbus ProSky understands the challenges resulting from the increasing capacity demands within this region. Its dedicated team of ATM experts are constantly evaluating the airspace and partnering with governments and airlines to provide efficient, sustainable and innovative solutions.
Airbus ProSky has worked with regional partners in a number of capacities, including airspace design, air traffic flow management airspace design and performance based navigation.
• For more information, visit: www.airbusprosky.com