Aviation in Middle East takes centre stage

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A new global report suggests that the Gulf’s aviation industry will continue to achieve enviable growth and assume the global centre stage.

A new report suggests that Persian Gulf airports will continue to achieve enviable growth and assume centre stage in the worldwide aviation industry.

Titled ‘The World Via Gulf‘ the report was released only a few weeks before the Airport Show to be held in Dubai from May 6-8. The event is the largest gathering of global aviation leaders, experts and suppliers in the region.

The study forecasts that seven billion people will live one direct flight from the Middle East by 2025. At an average annual growth rate of 7.6 percent, the total aircraft movements in the region are expected to jump to 2.3 million. By 2020, the Gulf airports are estimated to handle 250 million passengers by 2020. The airports in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha are believed to dominate growth as the region’s aviation hubs.

The report highlights that the connectivity of Gulf with rest of the world has significantly improved over the last few decades, with more than 85 percent of the world’s population within reach of a direct flight. Industry figures show that Dubai will overtake London’s Heathrow to become the world’s busiest airport by 2015. At the same time, Gulf airlines like the Dubai-based Emirates are forging alliances with other global carriers to expand their reach in the aviation industry.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization, air traffic in the region is expected to grow by 5.2 percent annually until 2030. To cater to the demand for greater passenger traffic, Middle East airlines intend to increase their capacity by 12.8 percent this year. These airlines are also investing heavily in new fleet and they now account for about one-third of the global orders for Boeing 777 and Airbus A380.

Data from Oxford Economics shows that the expansion of Gulf’s aviation industry is likely to create about 294,000 jobs in the next 15 years. The industry will also increase its contribution to GDP will increase by 6.3 percent annually in real terms over the next 20 years. Currently, the Middle East aviation industry contributes about USD 129 billion to regional GDP.

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