PARIS (Reuters) – Executives from aircraft and engine makers Boeing <BA.N> and Rolls-Royce <RR.L> said recent instability in the Middle East had not so far led to deferrals or cancellations of plane orders.
Gulf carriers such as Emirates [EMIRA.UL] and Qatar Airways have grown rapidly over the last decade and have been big buyers of large aircraft in recent years, but their growth has slowed over the last 12 months as the low oil price hit demand for business travel.
A rift between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors, over alleged ties to terrorism – charges Qatar denies, is putting further pressure on travel demand in the region.
“Any major crisis in the Middle East would affect our industry one way or another. We are not there yet,” Rolls-Royce civil aerospace president Eric Schulz told the Paris Air Forum, adding that he hoped the situation would settle down.
“Compared with the situation six months ago, this is a landscape which seems to be less stable, but that doesn’t mean it will be unstable in six months’ time,” he added.
Boeing also said there was not yet cause for concern.
“They may be a bit more cautious and careful as they go forward but we’re not seeing a significant uptake in deferrals or cancellations at this point,” Randy Tinseth, Boeing marketing vice president said of his Middle East customers.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Victoria Bryan and Cyril Altmeyer; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)