Europe’s Airbushas released details of its latest 20-year market forecast for the Middle East and North Africa. The manufacturer predicts that carriers in the region will need to buy 1,016 aircraft worth a total of $124,000 million by 2023 (MEED 16:9:05).

Regional carriers will require 631 aircraft to satisfy projected growth and 385 aircraft as replacements. The 1,016 total comprises 486 single aisle, 317 small wide-body, 122 intermediate wide-body, and 91 large wide-body aircraft. The forecast is based on annual traffic growth of 7.1 per cent in the Middle East and 4.5 per cent in North Africa.

Airbus says it has secured 67 per cent of Middle East and North Africa sales so far in 2005, and recently signed a letter of intent with Qatar Airways (QA) to supply 60 of its new A350 aircraft.

Commenting on the delay of the A380, Airbus spokesman David Velupillai confirmed that compensation, as prescribed in the purchase agreements, will be paid to the launch customers of the aircraft. Singapore Airlineswill be the first to receive its order of A380s in the fourth quarter of 2006. Emirateswill receive its order in the second quarter of 2007. QA and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airwaysalso have orders for the A380.