The Middle-East and African aircraft seating market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 5% during the forecast period.
- The growing number of air passenger traffic is a major factor driving the market. Due to the demand generated by this growing traffic, the airlines in the region are planning fleet expansion initiatives, which, in turn, is expected to generate the demand for aircraft seating during the forecast period.
- To enhance the passenger experience and maximize their profit, aircraft operators are incorporating new lightweight material seats, with features, like inflight power supply. Such innovative product lines are anticipated to open new market opportunities for the market in the coming years.
Key Market Trends
The Narrow-body Aircraft Segment Held the Highest Market Share in 2019
Currently, the narrow-body aircraft segment has the highest share, and it is anticipated to register the highest growth rates during the forecast period. This growth is due to the increasing demand for narrow-body aircraft from major LCC and FSC airlines, like Qatar Airways and Air Arabia. As a part of the global expansion plan, in November 2019, Air Arabia placed an order worth USD 14 billion for 120 A320 aircraft. This order included the procurement of 70 A320neo and 50 A321XLR and A321neo aircraft. The new aircraft are scheduled to be delivered from 2024, and they may be used for the expansion of the airline’s network to new destinations in the future. Also, the airline, in collaboration with Etihad Airlines, announced its plans to launch a joint venture company (a low-cost carrier) to tap into the growing demand for budget travel in the United Arab Emirates. Also, Qatar Airlines has about 50 narrow-body aircraft on order, which are planned to begin during the forecast period. The increasing orders of new narrow-body aircraft are anticipated to generate demand for new narrow-body seats during the forecast period.
The United Arab Emirates is Expected to Dominate the Market During the Forecast Period
Currently, the United Arab Emirates is dominating the market, and it is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period as well. The increase in the demand for aircraft seating is attributed to the increase in the procurement of new aircraft, owing to the surging air passenger traffic. The need for the introduction of soft and comfortable seating for all the classes in an aircraft is making the airlines in the region replace their existing seats with new seats. For instance, in April 2019, Recaro Holding GmbH was opted by Middle-East Airlines for its cabin seats. The full cabin of the A321neo fleet is to be equipped with new seats offered by Recaro - CL5710 electrical business class seats and CL3710 economy class seats. Moreover, the expansion of new aircraft seat manufacturers into the retrofit segment is anticipated to propel the country’s growth in the coming years.
Some of the prominent players in the market are Stelia Aerospace (Airbus SE), Recaro Holding GmbH, Safran SA, Collins Aerospace (Raytheon Technologies Corporation), and Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO). Majority of the major seat manufacturers in the region are line-fit seat suppliers to major aircraft programs of OEMs, like Airbus and Boeing. For instance, in April 2019, Airbus and Recaro Holding announced the extension of their contract for the exclusive delivery of SFE (supplier-furnished-equipment) seats for the A320 family aircraft. In addition to the introduction of new seats, new models are anticipated to generate further demand from the airlines. In April 2019, Safran SA revealed Versa, which is a new enhanced generation of herringbone, state-of-the-art, long-haul business class seat. Such innovations and retrofit contracts from the aircraft operators in the region are anticipated to support the growth of the companies in the future.
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