Airbus Industrie, buoyed by Emirates' and Qatar Airway's recent orders, has won $18.9 billion worth of business from the Middle East during the first half of this year, a top official said.
These orders for the European aircraft manufacturer include 52 passenger jets on firm orders with over 30 more on commitments and options.
This is part of the 199 firm orders, or 54 per cent of the total global orders Airbus has won so far, against Boeing's 168 or 46 per cent.
The second part of the year may not be as successful as the first half for Airbus as its rival might take advantage of a stronger US presence in the region, especially after the Iraq war.
'Though aircraft manufacturing and sales is pure business and we benefit from the strength of our products and services, but political considerations do come into play sometimes,' said David Velupillai, Airbus' regional press manager.
'As far as the political equation is concerned, Britain is one of the two key partners in the Iraq war and has a stake in Airbus' parent company, EADS.'
According to Airbus, the required number of commercial jets in the Middle East will rise to 706 by 2018 from a modest 368 in 1998, of which 282 will go in for replacement or retirement, leaving a mere 86 in service.
This means the region will need 620 new aircraft requiring an investment of $50 billion until 2018. Airbus says it is well placed to grab over 50 per cent of this market.
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