A major theme of the military and aerospace (mil/aero) market in 2013 is globalization. Attentions in the U.S. and Europe, where mil/aero budgets are tight, are turning to emerging markets—and two of the strongest growth areas are Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
The Boeing Company forecasts that airlines in the Middle East will require 2,610 new airplanes, at a total value of $550 billion, over the next 20 years. A majority, or roughly 66 percent, of that number is driven by rapid fleet expansion—airlines adding more commercial aircraft to their fleets to meet demand in the region. The other one-third of that demand, nearly 900 airplanes, are expected to replace current fleets.
Air travel is becoming more diverse geographically, Boeing analysts affirm. “International traffic growth in the Middle East continues to outpace the rest of the world,” according to Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle.
“The Gulf region benefits from a unique geographic position that enables one-stop connectivity between Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australasia,” Tinseth explains. “Additionally, over the last decade, we’ve seen a rise in low-cost carriers that have benefitted from a large youthful population, large migrant workforce, and trends toward market liberalization.”
Commercial airliners are just part of the equation, albeit a big part, in the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is also investing in a variety of military vehicles—both ground and air, and manned and unmanned.
This geek has more to report on mil/aero the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Stay tuned!