by Fouad Attar
Welcome to the new asfaar! I hope you enjoy the new online publication designed to bring you more news, information and stories on our dynamic region.
The importance of the region was highlighted at last week’s 2015 Paris airshow where airlines from the Middle East were again prominent. Saudi Arabian Airlines became the launch operator of the new A330-300 Regional. The order will be financed by the International Airfinance Corporation (“IAFC”), a leading Middle East based lessor and now the first customer to order this latest variant of our hugely successful A330 Family. The aircraft is specially designed for regional and domestic operations and is Airbus’ solution for markets with large populations and fast growing, concentrated air traffic flows – perfect for the Saudi domestic market. IAFC also purchased 30 A320ceo aircraft which brings their fast growing portfolio of fuel-efficient Airbus widebody and single-aisle aircraft to a total of 55, comprising five A330-200, 20 A330-300 Regional and 30 A320ceo.
Also at the show Riyadh-based Alpha Star also became the first to announce a commitment for the recently launched Airbus ACJ319neo consolidating its role as the largest VVIP charter operator in the Middle East.
In this edition of asfaar, we are also bringing you our projections for the Middle East commercial aviation market produced by our Airbus Global Market Forecast group. The 2015-2034 GMF study reflects the importance of our region in the global context of air travel. This is clearly indicated by parameters such as air traffic growth for Middle East based airlines which is expected to outpace other regions at 6.7% annually compared to 4.6% global growth. In terms of aircraft demand, our region is expected to see over 2,400 commercial aircraft serving the market in the next 20 years with the majority being twin-aisle.
And the first of these aircraft was delivered in June to Tunisair, the flagship carrier of Tunisia who took delivery of its first ever A330 aircraft.
Congratulations to all of these airlines as they embark on new phases in their continued development and growth.
Thank you and Ramadan Kareem!