By Elsa Baxter
Some 36.4% of people see slow growth next year, while 33.5% think industry will stagnate.
Opinion is split as to whether the region’s aviation industry will continue to see growth next year or whether the global crisis will continue to deter travellers, according to the latest Arabian Business poll.
On the final day of a subdued Dubai air show on Thursday, the results of our latest online survey reveal only 15.9 percent of people think Middle Eastern airlines will post major passenger growth in 2010.
Some 36.4 percent of respondents say the region’s carriers will continue to grow but at a slower pace, while 33.5 percent think the industry will stagnate.
But, only 14.2 percent of people said regional airlines would take a big hit in 2010, despite not being as severely effected by the downturn this year as other operators.
Sales at the biannual show have fallen dramatically since it was last held in 2007 on the back of a sluggish global economy.
Organisers said this year's show had a total of $14bn in orders for planes, equipment and services so far, compared to $155bn two years ago. But, they added that they had already sold 50 percent of the space for their next exhibition in 2011.
Plane maker Airbus is reported to have received $5.3bn worth of orders, while its US rival Boeing has had just $800m. The pair’s combined orders totalled $75bn in 2007.
Meanwhile, Boeing chief Jim McNerney, told Arabian Business, the firm would be making a
fresh round of job cuts next year
, on top of 10,000 redundancies announced earlier this year.
The exact number of redundancies was not revealed, but it is unlikely to match the previous figure of 10,000, he said.
Read more news from the show
While the orderbook at last week's Dubai Airshow was clearly much less than in 2007, to call it a "subdued" event is not at all reflecting the ebullient mood of the vast majority of exhibitors, who told me they had had an extremely successful exhibition and were very happy with their results.