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News number: 8901231517

17:16 | 2010-04-12

Economy

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Official: Iran's Air Carrier Ranks 3rd in Middle-East

TEHRAN (FNA)- New data from Flightglobal Insight said that Iran possesses the third largest fleet of passenger and cargo planes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) despite all the pressures and sanctions imposed by the US on the country's aviation sector.



According to Flightglobal report, Iran is home to 10% of the regional fleet.

Due to the economic sanctions imposed by the West "the nation has been turning to Russia to meet its airliner needs", the report added.

Airbus will increase its market share in the Middle East over its rival Boeing in the next decade, the report further pointed out.

The number of Airbus planes among airlines in the MENA region will more than double from 438 last year to 967 by 2019, driven by a large increase in deliveries of A320 aircraft, data from Flightglobal Insight showed.

The UAE, home to some of the world's fastest-growing carriers such as Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, flydubai and Air Arabia, accounts for the largest share of MENA-based aircraft.

Some 284 aircraft are in use by those Emirati airlines, as well as air cargo companies and private jet operators, and make up about a quarter of the total number of aircraft in the region.

The report by Flightglobal Insight reveals how Boeing and Airbus dominate the Middle East aircraft market.

Altogether, the region will account for 1,813 aircraft by 2019, almost double the 922 present last year. Saudi Arabia has the second-largest fleet of aircraft, although a large proportion are private jets bought from Boeing and Airbus - including the only order for an Airbus A380 superjumbo for the Saudi royal family

The country is home to 14% of the regional fleet, or 158 aircraft, Flightglobal data showed.

Egypt, with its large population and active tourism industry, is fourth with 8% of the fleet followed by Qatar, the flag carrier of which, Qatar Airways, is one of the world's fastest growing carriers.