Airbus expects orders from the Middle East of between 40 and 50 aircraft this year, about the same as in 2009, the company's top executive for the region said.
Airbus's President for the Middle East, Habib Fekih, also said he expected 2010 deliveries in the region to match or exceed the 70 planes delivered last year, and said Airbus customers globally were seeking less vendor finance than expected.
Asked about Middle East orders, Fekih said: "In 2009 in net orders we were well placed ... about 40 planes, so 16-17 per cent (of the Airbus total). That proportion was a bit less than previously but that was because we sold loads in 2008 and 2007."
"In 2010 we should come back to the same proportions as 2009, so 40 to 50 planes," he said in interview on the sidelines of an aerospace industry fair in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh.
"We delivered 70 planes in the region in 2009. In 2010 we think we will deliver as many if not more," he said.