International airline traffic growth in the Middle East will continue to outpace the rest of the world, according to the latest forecast from Boeing.


The region will need 2,610 new aircraft worth $550 billion over the next 20 years.


A third of that demand – 900 aircraft – will be replacements but 66% is expected to be driven by rapid fleet expansion in the region, the manufacturer says.


Long-range, twin-aisle aircraft, such as the 777 and 787 Dreamliner, will continue to dominate order books in the Gulf region, reflecting the global network priorities and emerging alliances and partnerships of the region’s carriers.


Boeing Commercial Airplanes marketing vice president Randy Tinseth said: “The Gulf region benefits from a unique geographic position that enables one-stop connectivity between Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia.


“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 liberalisation.”


Twin-aisle aircraft will account for more than half of the region’s new deliveries over the next two decades against 24% globally.


Single-aisle aircraft will make up 47% of regional deliveries through to 2032, while large aircraft will account for 10% of forecast demand.


Globally, Boeing has forecast a long-term demand for 35,280 new aircraft, valued at $4.8 trillion. These new aircraft will replace older, less efficient types.