CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — According to Boeing, the Middle Eastern region's commercial fleet and passenger traffic are expected to more than double over the next two decades as air travel and tourism continue to drive the region's economic growth. In the 2022 Boeing Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), a 20-year demand prediction, the American planemaker published their estimate.

Middle Eastern carriers have overcome difficulties caused by the pandemic by altering their business strategies and using more freighters to increase income. According to Boeing, the fleets of the Middle-Eastern carriers will eventually grow to 3,400 aircraft to meet the region's rapidly expanding demand for air travel and cargo.

"The Middle East region, a popular connection point for international travelers and trade, is also growing as a starting point and destination for business and leisure passengers," 

said Randy Heisey, Boeing managing director of Commercial Marketing for the Middle East and Africa, and Russia and Central Asia Regions.

"The region will continue to require a versatile fleet that meets the demands of airline and air-cargo business models," 

Heisey added.

For the purpose of transporting people and goods, Middle Eastern airlines will need 2,980 new aircraft worth $765 billion. The replacement of older aircraft with more fuel-efficient models like the Boeing 737 MAX, 787 Dreamliner, and 777X will account for one-third of these deliveries, while more than two-thirds will enable growth.

Particularly, the amount of air cargo flights conducted by Middle Eastern carriers has continued to increase significantly over the past few years as two of the top five cargo carriers in the world by freight capacity are based there. In Boeing's report, the cargo fleets of Middle Eastern operators are predicted to more than double their pre-pandemic levels by 2041 in order to meet future demand.

The projections below through 2041 are also included in Boeing's Middle East CMO for 2022:

  • Passenger traffic is expected to grow at 4% annually.
  • Passenger widebody aircraft demand continues to be robust, with 1,290 deliveries supporting a growing network of international routes.
  • The Middle East single-aisle market will more than double, reaching 1,650 jets to serve regional and international destinations.
  • Demand for aftermarket commercial services, including maintenance and repair valued at $275 billion. 
  • The region also will require 202,000 new aviation personnel, including 53,000 pilots, 50,000 technicians, and 99,000 cabin crew members, in the next 20 years, according to Boeing's 2022 Pilot and Technician Outlook.