Boeing Sees Huge Mideast Demand For Jets

November 15, 2011

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The Middle East will need to recruit and train tens of thousands of new pilots to sustain a massive expansion in long-haul fleets led by the Gulf Arab region, Boeing said on Monday.

The prediction comes a day after the US plane maker announced a record order worth at least USD$18 billion for 50 Boeing 777s from host airline Emirates at the Dubai Air Show.

Boeing sees Middle East demand for 2,520 jets worth USD$450 billion over the next 20 years, led by a trio of Gulf airlines including Emirates, Qatar Airways and Abu Dhabi's Etihad.

To keep its burgeoning fleet flying, the Middle East will need 36,000 new pilots and 53,000 new maintenance personnel, Randy Tinseth, marketing vice president for Boeing commercial planes, said at the Dubai Air Show.