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Middle Eastern Air Freight Predicted to Double

The plane manufacturing giant Boeing has predicted the Middle East’s air freight industry will double in size over the coming 20 years.


In their 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), the aviation outfit claimed that by the year 2040 the rising demand will require 150 planes. This figure nearly double that of the 80 currently in service.

Figures reported in 2020 showed increases in air cargo up 15.4% in the region, compared to a global average of 7.7% in August 2020. With the region undergoing huge expansions in transport links over the last 40 years, it is clear that growth continues in 2021.

Passenger Flights Grounded

With passenger flights grounded throughout the majority of 2020, the belly space reserved for cargo meant more space needed. Cargo planes picked up the slack, and with the Middle East bridging the gap between East and West, the air cargo industry clearly thrived in the region.


Boeing’s managing director of Commercial Marketing, Randy Heisey, had this to say, “The Middle East region’s role as a global connecting hub continues to be important for developing markets to and from Southeast Asia, China and Africa.

“The region has been a leader in restoring confident passenger travel through multi-faceted initiatives that aid international travel recovery.”

The predictions by Boeing estimate that the Middle East’s overall need for planes will be around 3000 over the next 20 years. With two thirds to support the increases in business and the other third replacing old, retired planes.

The worth to the industry, a colossal $700 billion, with a further $700 billion in service and repairs. Ventures such as Dubai’s CommerCity, an E-Commerce dedicated Freezone should only serve to increase the demand and could see Boeing’s predictions fall short.

Continued Expansion

Since the 1980s the Middle East have invested heavily in infrastructure to bring the region in line with global shifts in the way business is done. Investment from China and their One Belt Initiative, which aims to build roads to reach as far as central Africa furthers the regions capabilities and brings further opportunity.

In further news boosting the future of freight in the region, Fed Ex recently announced their intention to invest $400m into Saudi Arabia over the next ten years. The American express delivery giant hopes to help Saudi reach its ambitious goal of building non-oil trade to more than $266 billion.

With investment comes expansion, and as more brick-and-mortar retailers disappear from the high street, the logistics industry takes the strain.

To explore what we offer at OCS, visit our courier services page.

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