Qatar leading aviation growth in the Middle East

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The US $11 billion New Doha International Airport is designed to handle 50 million passengers a year. Photo - Constructionweekonline.com

Qatar is a leading aviation growth in the Middle East, thanks to the government’s liberal aviation policies, which is fueling unprecedented growth in the global aviation industry. Industry experts say the tiny gas-rich nation’s huge surplus, commitment to the aviation industry and need to create jobs for its growing population is spurring this growth.

“The government in Qatar, which is home to one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, has committed itself to facilitating this growth. This commitment is apparent in the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority’s sustained efforts to enter into air transport agreements with countries across the globe,” Martin Bentrott, Vice-President, Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes told Qatar Tribune in an interview.

The Boeing executive added that apart from expanding Qatar Airways network by expanding into untapped markets, it is also opens up huge potential for trade, travel and tourism.

“Qatar Airways has benefited from relaxed access to new markets allowing it, for instance, to launch direct routes from the Middle East to Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Iberian Peninsula and South America. By expanding into previously untapped markets, it’s creating new opportunities for trade, travel and tourism,” Bentrott said.

Earlier this year, the leading Middle Eastern airline, which serves 116 destinations on a fleet of 108 aircraft, announced plans for 65-77 new weekly flights to 13 new destinations in 2012, as well as 45 additional new weekly flights to existing destinations within the network.

Qatar Airways is expecting to receive 10 Airbus A380 “Superjumbos” beginning in 2013, as well as 30 Boeing 787-8s, 60 Airbus A350s, 52 Airbus A320 family aircraft (50 neos),and 8 Boeing 777-300ERs. However, the future of the Airbus A380 at Qatar Airways is now in jeopardy as Qatar Airways announced in April that it will defer taking delivery of five of its A380 superjumbos until Airbus offers more details about A380 wing cracks.

Aviation jobs

The $14.5 billion New Doha International Airport, is expected to become a new regional air transport hub. Experts believe it will create 8,000 jobs during its first year of operation.

Boeing’s Current Market Outlook report forecasted a demand for 2,520 new airplanes in the Middle East by 2030. This growth will help create more jobs and also significantly contribute to the region’s economy.

Oxford Economics, an economic think-tank, said the aviation industry’s direct contribution to GDP will increase by 6.3% per annum in real terms over the next 20 years, creating an additional 294,000 jobs in the region.

“According to data from the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), the industry supports an estimated 56.6 million jobs globally and contributes 3.5 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In fact, according to the ATAG, if aviation were a country it would be the 19th biggest economy in the world by GDP,” he said.

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