UAE may be Boeing’s main market for biofuel usage
Commitment to UAE is great, big bonus for us: McNerney
Dubai: The UAE’s commitment towards aviation biofuel could see Boeing utilise its greatest percentage of the economically-friendly fuel here, chairman and chief executive officer Jim McNerney said.
“Biofuel commitment is great here and it is a big bonus for Boeing. I predict the UAE is where we’ll be using the greatest percentage of biofuel in our planes,” he said at The Atlantic’s “What’s Next?” summit on global innovation, which was held in Abu Dhabi recently.
Referring to Etihad’s recent Boeing 777 trial flight that carried 10 per cent of biofuel, McNerney said this was a sure sign that things were “scaling up” in regards to the use of aviation biofuel in the Middle East.
In a move to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, initiatives like Etihad’s recent trial flight are being introduced to support a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in the UAE. And with a big global footprint itself, McNerney said Boeing back the move 100 per cent.
During the summit, McNerney also stated that planes with ceramic engines could be the future of aviation. “I foresee more corporations introducing engines with ceramics. It may sound surprising but they can handle more heat.”
He said the aviation industry can expect to see bigger, composite aircrafts taking to the skies by 2030, adding that “good connectivity” will become the “basis of competition”.
“Boeing’s new 737 MAX will carry us through to the next decade at least but then there is a good chance we will see more composite aircrafts. This would be a further spin off of the 777-X.”
Though the conventional shape of planes will remain the same, he said aircraft interiors will see big changes. Seats will be more like video arcade seats as data speed for in-flight Internet access will increase, which in turn is expected to lead to greater use of devices and bandwidth, on planes.
Last week’s summit in Abu Dhabi marked the first time it has been held outside the US and McNerney said it made sense to connect with its audience in the Middle East. With enormous physical development taking shape in the UAE, McNerney said Boeing was fortunate to be tied into many projects here.
“We’re being challenged in the UAE. Its focus on the development of people makes a real difference and it’s what accelerates an economy.”
He said the country’s physical infrastructure when it comes to aviation is phenomenal and the “incredible act of energy and vision” from its leaders was ten-fold.
“I don’t see this kind of discontinuous thinking anywhere else in the world. You strive to know what you don’t know. Incrementalism is not exciting but it has seen the amount of 777’s double here compared to anywhere else in the world, and that’s incredible.”
Boeing is involved in a number of different projects and initiatives that contribute towards aviation education and training in the UAE, and McNerney said there is still huge potential in the aviation market here.
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