Aircraft on display at Dubai Airshow. Over the next two decades, as the region’s population and tourism numbers spike, new aircraft orders would be worth as much as $725 billion (Dh2.66 trillion), according to a new Boeing estimate. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: The aviation industry in the Middle East region is set to soar to higher highs. Staggering numbers are predicted in terms of manpower needed to keep the new orders of aircraft flying — and well maintained.

For starters, a fresh forecast from Boeing states that this surge — reckoned over the next 20 years — would entail the need for the following:

  • 3,130 new airplanes
  • 64,000 new pilots
  • 231,000 workforce
  • 65,000 new technicians
  • 102,000 cabin crew

Dh2.66 trillion

Over the next two decades, the US airframer sees the region’s population and tourism numbers spiking, with new aircraft orders projected to be worth as much as $725 billion (Dh2.66 trillion).

Boeing released the forecasts at the on-going Dubai Airshow 2019, which ends on November 21.

In the 10 years, 100-plus new long-haul routes will be launched in the region, according to Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ VP for Marketing.

The US aircraft manufacturer expects about 80 per cent of these new long-haul routes to be served by its wide-body aircraft.

Lion's share

What’s more, the Middle East will account for the lion’s share — 46 per cent — of the aircraft deliveries expected in the wide body segment, the highest of any region in the world.

By 2038, the US airframer expects airlines to pour in up to $790 billion in commercial aviation services.

Airbus, Boeing European counterpart, for its part sees Middle East demand for 3,240 new passenger and freight aircraft.

The European aerospace giant also expects orders of 1,630 new small aircraft, 480 medium-size aircraft, and 1,130 large aircraft.

Airbus estimates

Over the next 20-year period, Airbus expects the region would need the following:

  • $515 billion services
  • 50,000 new pilots
  • 52,000 new technicians

Remi Maillard, senior vice-president for Airbus Services, expects the Middle East's commercial aviation services market as a whole to be valued at about $515 billion over the next 20 years.

This will include services optimisation and maintaining aircraft availability such as maintenance, material management, technicians training and system upgrades, flight operations services, including pilot training or Air Traffic Management solutions, and finally passenger services like cabin upgrades, connectivity and ticketing.

Global scene

Globally, the picture also looks rosy, despite the current headwinds and on-going trade disputes that distort market. For the next 20 years — as more people fly, Boeing projects the following:

  • 9,100 new wide-body airplanes
  • 44,000 new airplanes
  • Value of new orders at $16 trillion (commercial aviation)
  • $30 billion in net profit for airlines for 2019

As for US-China trade row, Tinseth expects both sides to come to an agreement. A US-China trade deal will boost global economic growth which will be greatly benefit the aviation industry, said the Boeing executive.