The biggest buyers of the Airbus A380, A350 and Boeing 777X, 777 (and second largest airline customer for 787) are all concentrated within an hour of one another. Emirates airline, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways have long punched above their rising weight, wielding disproportionate influence on Boeing and Airbus's most high profile projects and swelling their order books along the way.
The superjumbo A380 is the poster child of Emirates 'global reach with 109 flying at the airline. And the coming 777X is defined as it is thanks to the trio's geography. A requirement for sporty performance in the 120-degree Fahrenheit Gulf heat sizing of everything from the jet engine to the wing and landing gear. Boeing was rewarded handsomely: Seventy-five percent of the 326 777X aircraft on order are from the three Gulf carriers.
Their rapidly expanding fleets fueled travel to and through Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi and their global ambitions tormented US. and European carriers who saw their gains as money
Now, falling oil prices, congested airspace, limited space on the ground that Dubai International and the unfinished Dubai World Central have all the importance of Emirates' expansion plans. And bets on equity partners in Italy, Germany and India have scuttled Etihad's grand plans, too. And all of that was before the UAE costly involvement in the bitter alongside Saudi Arabia against Yemen and a regional blockade of only regional tourism down further.
The Middle East's aviation-driven growth has been caught in the undertow. Now, the other shoe is starting to drop.
Suppliers at arm's length as Boeing heads for 797 decision
The biggest buyers of the Airbus A380, A350 and Boeing 777X, 777 (and second largest …