With the Dubai Airshow coming to a close today, I take a look back at the deals that were made and discuss the booming Middle East market.
Gulf carriers: Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways have been ground breaking airlines for quite some time now, especially in the Middle East aviation market.
For example, Qatar was the launch customer for the A350 XWB nearly a year ago, while Etihad made history in 2008 with its order of 205 new aircraft worth approximately $43bn, and since the late 1980’s Emirates has built itself up to become the world’s largest operator of the 777 and A380.
There is no denying that the most fascinating thing about these powerful carriers is the rapid speed in which they are growing thus changing the landscape of their region. In fact, the quadrupling of traffic to and from the region has lead to it being dubbed as the ‘crossroads’.
But with an increasing number of aircraft having been ordered over the last few years and with limited airspace in the Gulf’s skies, the Middle East market and wider aviation industry have an interesting few years ahead of them.
So unsurprisingly, this week it has been all eyes and ears on the Dubai Airshow, as the five-day event, held at Dubai’s World Central Airport from November 8 – November 12, brings news of new multi-million dollar deals to trade papers around the world.
However, day one of the airshow failed to report any major deals, but thankfully the subsequent days welcomed far more promising headlines with a steady flow of contracts being announced, including a $16bn MRO agreement between Emirates and GE Aviation.
In addition, a $8bn deal was secured by Boeing for 75 of its new 737 MAX aircraft for Indian carrier, Jet Airways; a $1.27bn contract was signed between the UAE Air Force and Saab; a Memorandum of Understanding penned between Etihad and Mubadala, worth a potential $1bn; a $262m contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin to sustain sensors on Saudi Arabia’s F-15 Fleet, and Vietjet placed an order for 30 new A321s.
But so far the reported deals haven’t even come close to the record-numbers seen at the event in 2013, where within three hours of the show opening the order total deals amount had reached $162.6bn.
Of course, we are left wondering if the Middle East purchasing boom has passed, with all the big deals having already been agreed in 2013. But whatever the answer, it seems the dynamic market in this region is destined for even greater things.
What’s more, while Emirates and Etihad have been leaders in UAE air travel since 1985 and 2003 respectively, the region’s smaller carriers, Air Arabia and Flydubai are still big contributing factors to the success of the region and are actively implementing their own growth strategies.
For example, Air Arabia has confirmed 21 new routes since Q1 2015 while Flydubai is continuously expanding its network. And let’s not forget Oman Air and Saudi Arabian Airlines, who are also growing their fleets.
Airbus forecasts further growth
On Monday (November 9), aircraft manufacturer Airbus released its ‘Flying By Numbers’ report, discussing aviation growth in the Middle East region.
Naturally, the report highlights that travel to and from the region quadrupled in the last 10 years, and that “well over 90% of the world’s population can connect via the Middle East”.
While it’s expected for a region that is already wowing the nation to continue on the same path, it’s really quite astounding to hear that from now until 2034 the traffic in the region is set to increase even more, and at a rate of 6% per year – a figure that is well above the 4.6% average predicted for global passenger traffic.
Additionally, Airbus predicts that this growth will lead to a demand for 2,460 new passenger and freighter aircraft, valued at $590bn.
“By 2034, the fleet of passenger and freighter aircraft in the Middle East region will almost treble from nearly 1,100 in 2015, to over 2,950 by 2034,” concludes the OEM.
So as the Middle East region continues on its impressive expansion, airlines will need to find more comprehensive solutions to help manage and maintain their growing fleets.
Indeed, every airline, no matter how big or small, has to manage everything from flight schedules and overheads to passenger traffic and staff rotas, which is where an IT software solution proves to be an invaluable tool.
Rusada’s Envision software is one tool that an airline can easily adopt in order to obtain a clear overview of the business’s data.
The platform delivers in four key areas: flexibility and efficiency, process control, visibility and decision-making, and compliance, and is easily integrated into legacy systems.
To find out more about how Rusada’s Envision software can help you better manage your fleet and internal operations email or call us today.