Attendees of the airline planning conference
The health of the Middle East’s air travel industry and the sustained performance of commercial aircraft assets continue to create good investment opportunities, reflected in strong attendance at the annual financiers’ conference held here by aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
The week-long Boeing regional airline planning conference for financiers, as the event is known, concluded on April 1 and provided an inside look at how airlines evaluate the jetliners they purchase.
It marked the sixth year for the event that this year attracted more than 20 executives from the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Europe. It was the first time the event has been held here.
Experts from Boeing Capital Corporation, the company’s financing unit, lead participating bankers and financiers through a detailed examination of the underlying dynamics and key decision drivers of the current global airline marketplace. Joining them were Boeing Commercial Airplanes executives, who discussed the industry’s current market outlook, airplane performance and economics and other issues.
The event’s venue rotates annually among Middle Eastern countries with financial centers. The location this year in Dubai recognizes the UAE’s role as a key financial force in the region.
Continuing a trend begun at last year’s regional event held in Istanbul, Boeing was joined in the presentation by an airline customer official. This year’s conference featured speaker was Mukesh Sodani, the chief financial officer of flydubai, who offered the carrier’s perspective on operating as Dubai’s first low-cost airline. flydubai began operation in 2008 and relies on an all-Boeing fleet of 737-800 airplanes.
Boeing has offered a similar event at its headquarters in Seattle, Wash. for more than two decades. It began offering the regional events in 2005 to make attendance easier and less costly for financiers in other parts of the world.
The company’s 2011 conference comes as global airline market conditions continue to improve and financiers in healthy air travel markets – like the Middle East and China -- increasingly seek out opportunities to align available capital with worthy investments.
“Commercial aircraft investments have outpaced other asset classes, due to an aircraft’s long useful life and their extremely mobile nature,” said John Matthews, Boeing Capital’s managing director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. “Aircraft are also ideal assets for Islamic financing, which must be asset based. When combined with the strong performance of the Middle East’s air transport market, the result is real investment opportunity for financiers with capital willing to enter the aviation space.”
Through events like the Dubai conference, Boeing is distinguished among aircraft manufacturers by its continuing investment in support of the Middle East’s emergence as an aircraft financing center.
“These annual airline planning conferences, our financier and investors conference held here in Dubai each fall and smaller events like our bank roundtables are helping to generate more interest in the worthy investment opportunities that aircraft represent,” said Matthews.
Recently, Boeing held its first-ever financier roundtable event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, attracting about 20 of that nation’s aircraft investment leaders.
Boeing’s latest market outlook reports airline industry growth in the Middle East is expected to continue over the next 20 years. The 2010 outlook valued the Middle East market at $390 billion over the next two decades, which translates into an expected need for 2,340 commercial jets.