According to Bloomberg, Airbus predicts that it may lose nearly 60 orders in the Middle East and North Africa this year due to the political unrest which has swept through the region. Those 60 orders would account for almost 40 percent of the predicted orders from the region in 2011.
Airlines including EgyptAir, Africa’s second-biggest carrier, had indicated a need for aircraft but are now unlikely to sign contracts, according to Habib Fekih, Toulouse, France- based Airbus’s president for the Middle East region.
“I believe we can get close to 90 or 100 orders,” Fekih said in an interview in Dubai. “Before the unrest I would have said 150, easily. The potential was there at the beginning of this year in some countries where there is unrest today.”
The Middle East region has grown from being an insignificant portion of Airbus’ orders only ten years ago to a substantial chunk today due to the rise of carriers such as Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways which serve several quickly growing oil rich nations.
With stability in the hub nations of those three airlines, the Middle East will continue to represent a source of significant orders going forward, but as the turmoil spreads and uncertainty hangs over the heads over many Middle Eastern nations, it appears that for both Boeing and Airbus, orders and deliveries may take a significant hit for the time being.