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Is the sky getting bigger or just more crowded in the Middle East?

November 18, 2011

Tour of the Middle East- Part 7: Palestine

-          This series of posts will take you on a country by country tour of the Middle East, showing how economic and social development occurs in one of the most unstable regions in the world.

Expansion is a natural occurrence for any business that is looking to increase sales and profit. Sometimes this expansion can be creating a varied product line.  Other times it can involve expanding into a new market. While the Middle East is certainly not foreign to the airline industry, rapid economic growth around the region has leant itself to being a prime target for Boeing and Airbus, the two clear leaders in the airline manufacturing industry.  Boeing has predicted that the growing market in the Middle East will require 2,520 new planes totaling $450 billion by 2030.  Half of Airbus’ 2011 orders have already come from the Middle East. While Airbus is new to the area, Boeing has been selling planes and keeping relationships with the Middle East for more than 65 years.

As part of maintaining relationships, Boeing has assumed an educational development role in the Middle East. Boeing staff has continuously donated their time to teaching, mentoring, and guiding young students across the region. Working through Injaz, an organization that has volunteering ties throughout the Middle East, Boeing has been able to reach undeveloped areas that for years have gone unnoticed.  Paul Kinscherff, president of Boeing Middle East had that idea that by using a unique blend of student, teacher, and parent training, Boeing’s impact will be felt for years to come:

“We want to help prepare students to meet current and future challenges and realize their dreams in a global competitive economy. By focusing training on parents and teachers we increase the impact and sustainability of the projects we support.”

Through time and money, Boeing has developed an entrepreneurship master class in the Palestinian territories that in 2009 alone, was measured to have reach over 2,000 students. Boeing also caters to the needs of many across the Middle East region, using company employees and resources to supplement volunteer efforts in Jordan, Qatar, and the UAE.

Where Boeing has succeeded, it can be expected that Airbus is not too far behind.  Whether it is business or philanthropy, Boeing has set the tone during the course of these two rival brands’ relationship. Now, Airbus has a fully functioning philanthropic branch to their company, the Airbus Corporate Foundation, which seeks to educate youth populations in areas where Airbus does business. While the operation has not come full circle in the Middle East yet, it is only a matter of time that philanthropic efforts will be directed towards the region to match the growing business relationship that Airbus is experiencing.

Competition in business is a great thing for society.  It creates jobs, lowers prices, and sustains the free market. Additionally, more and more companies are using philanthropic initiatives to differentiate themselves and earn the trust of the areas where their business is conducted most frequently.  So while Airbus and Boeing might have nothing nice to say about each other, their competition has led to thousands of students being educated to a higher degree, and to societies being more well-rounded and competitive as well.

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