Airbus is in familiar territory for the Dubai Airshow, where the company is underscoring its significant presence in the Middle East – one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets.
It’s not only at Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central this week that Airbus aircraft are a familiar site, but also around the Middle East every day – creating new and better ways for airlines to fly and for passengers to connect.
Members from every family of Airbus’ product line are in operation across the Middle East, with 674 aircraft in service for the region’s operators – from the best-selling single-aisle A320 Family, to the versatile A330, all-new A350 XWB and 21st century flagship A380 jetliners. In total, Middle East and North African customers have booked 1,254 firm orders from Airbus, again covering the company’s complete product line.
A growing region
This strong demand for Airbus aircraft is a reflection of the dynamic market’s rapid expansion. Middle Eastern cities such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, and Doha in Qatar have become major hubs that link aviation mega-cities around the world – for example, those in Europe and Asia.
The Middle East is projected to continue its high levels of growth, as Airbus’ latest market forecast expects an annual 6 percent increase in traffic over the next 20 years compared to a world average of 4.6 percent.
According to this outlook, Middle East operators will require nearly 2,460 new passenger and freighter aircraft, with nearly 1,890 for growth and 570 for replacements. Of the total, some 1,570 widebody aircraft in the category of Airbus’ A330, A330neo, A350 and A380 are expected to be needed for long-haul international traffic growth; while domestic and inter-regional growth should open the opportunity for an additional 890 single-aisle aircraft in the A320 Family size category.
Establishing mutually beneficial partnerships
Airbus’ commitment to the Middle East goes beyond its commercial involvement, with the company also seeking to develop the region’s aerospace industry through its strategic partnerships. This creates a win, win situation for Airbus and the Middle East: strengthening Airbus’ global supply chain, while advancing the area’s economies with highly-skilled jobs.
For example, in the United Arab Emirates, Strata produces composite components for the A330, A330neo, A350 XWB and A380 aircraft, while Tawazun Precision Industries (TPI) manufactures metallic parts for the A320, A320neo and A330 programmes.
In Morocco and Tunisia, Airbus suppliers – including Airbus Group subsidiary Stelia – employ a skilled workforce to source a mix of precision machined, composite, electrical and assembled components for use across all Airbus programmes.
Airbus Middle East: Staying close to customers
Airbus’ presence in this part of the world is managed through the company’s Airbus Middle East operation – which is based in the United Arab Emirates and handles all regional commercial activities, including sales and marketing, customer support, training, customer relations, and more.
Airbus Middle East’s Dubai location also is home to one of five global Airbus material and logistics centres – which is run by the company’s Satair Group subsidiary – along with an office for the Airbus Corporate Jet unit.
In addition, Airbus Middle East has established a new operational base in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in recent years – to ensure it continues to remain in close connection to customers in the region.