DUBAI - Boeing (IW 500/14) said Saturday it holds nearly 40% of the lucrative sales market in the Middle East and aims to increase its share.
"Today we probably have close to 40%" of the Middle East market, compared with 60% for Airbus (IW 1000/52), said Marty Bentrott, a regional sales chief for Boeing.
Boeing lagged behind in the region for several years because it had not "realized that this part of the world" could play a key role in the aerospace industry, Bentrott said.
"We went through a period of time...being less competitive than we needed to be and we lost some opportunities," he told a press conference ahead of Sunday's opening of the Dubai Airshow.
Bentrott also said that while Boeing holds just under 30% of the market in medium-haul planes, it was in a "much stronger position" than Airbus in the long-haul sector where it held around 60%.
He said Boeing is now "focused" on the region, where experts say the rise in air traffic will be greater than anywhere else in the world over the next 20 years, expecting 7.1% compared with 4.7% elsewhere.
In Dubai, Boeing will present two versions of the 777X, updated versions of its bestselling 777. "You are going to see some real success stories with the 777X," Bentrott said.
The 13th edition of the Dubai Airshow runs until Thursday.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013