Home » Dr. Brendan Nelson, Boeing International (BI) President, shares aviation market outlook

Dr. Brendan Nelson, Boeing International (BI) President, shares aviation market outlook

by Madaline Dunn

With 20,000 suppliers, 15 engineering centres, 170,000 employees globally, and a footprint spanning 150 countries, Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and one with the potential to make a big impact on flight decarbonisation.

Recently, ahead of the Dubai Airshow, Dr. Brendan Nelson, President, Boeing International (BI), and Kuljit Ghata-Aura, President, Middle East, Turkey & Africa, shared their insights into the aerospace company’s portfolio, its regional growth plans, and sustainability initiatives across the region.

Dr. Nelson underlined that the Middle East is “critically important” to the world’s future, and shared that regionally, the company has 3,000 employees concentrated in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Kuwait, Dubai, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and beyond.

Further, he outlined Boeing’s plans to build an ecosystem in the region, investing in research and development with the aim of establishing industrial partnerships to support manufacturing and grow capacity in commercial and defence space.

Indeed, he shared plans to grow the company’s presence in the region, including in Saudi Arabia and beyond, with projections that over 3,000 aircraft, 58,000 pilots, and almost 100,000 crews will be required in the next two decades.

From an ESG perspective, the two highlighted the company’s emiratisation and inclusion efforts to ESG Mena, while on the sustainability side of things, it was said that SAF is the “most important thing the industry is working on.”

Indeed, Boeing recently entered into a partnership with Masdar to accelerate the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry.

That being said, although a hot topic, SAF currently accounts for just 0.1% of all aviation fuels consumed, and must ramp up considerably to decarbonise flights, especially considering forecasts for aviation’s upward growth trajectory. Without serious action, some forecasts are that emissions could increase by as much as 20% by 2030.

Fleet renewal was also underlined as a crucial component of decarbonisation, and the team also highlighted Boeing’s Cascade Climate Impact Model, a data modelling and visualisation tool that analyses sustainability strategies to assist with reducing emissions in aviation operations.

Meanwhile, ESG Mena was told that electrification for short-haul flights could arrive in the next decade; for hydrogen, it was shared that this is not expected until the second half of the century.

In driving forward action, partnerships were said to be vital for transformation; later, Dr. Nelson highlighted will and preparedness to invest, supportive regulation and market incentives, as key to enabling progress.

At the Dubai Airshow, Boeing was involved in a number of panels and discussions on sustainable aviation and was the strategic sponsor of the airshow’s Aerospace 2050 conference, while Boeing-led Aerospace Xelerated was also a strategic partner of the Vista 2023 startup hub.

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