Cargo operators will expand theirfleets at a greater rate in the MiddleEast than passenger fleets as the regionramps up its logistics operations, accordingto Boeing estimates.
The American plane maker’s latestmarket forecast until 2025 predictsthat sales of freighters will grow by 6.9percent per year.
New passenger planes will be addedat a slightly smaller pace, at 5.5 percentper year over the same period.
The explosive growth of Gulf economiesand the wider Middle East regionwill fuel this new demand, accordingto Boeing, which predicts a 4.1 percentrise in the region’s gross domestic productfor the next two decades.
Randy Tinseth, vice-president ofsales and marketing for the Boeing 747programme, said regional passengerand cargo carriers would purchase 80large, twin-aisle planes over the sameperiod.
This makes the Middle East one ofthe best markets for large aircraft, hesaid, such as the Boeing 747-8 underdevelopment and the Airbus A380.
The new 747, of which the first of78 aircraft on order will be deliveredin September 2009, has seen twice asmuch demand for its freighter planethan its passenger version.
Boeing, which claims to hold a 91percent market share in freightersworld-wide, expects to deliver some445 aircraft this year and as many as520 in 2008.