UAE to Add Nearly 30 Million Air Passengers

12/11/2013 12:00 pm EST

Focus: STRATEGIES

In an effort in increase their global aviation presence, UAE has plans to add almost 30 million planes, writes Shereen El Gazzar, of The National.

The Middle East is predicted to lead global aviation industry growth over the next four years, with the UAE alone adding 29.2 million passengers by 2017.

The forecast, from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), sees the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region with the strongest international passenger growth, with a compound average growth rate of 6.3% and 5.7% respectively.

“The fact that the Asia-Pacific region, led by China and the Middle East, will deliver the strongest growth over the forecast period is not surprising. Governments in both areas recognize the value of the connectivity provided by aviation to drive global trade and development,” said Tony Tyler, IATA's chief executive.

IATA's forecasts comes weeks after the Dubai's Airshow broke records with a deals' tally topping US$200 billion.

The orders were primarily led by Arabian Gulf carriers such as Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways.

Regional airport hubs are also benefiting from a rise in freight traffic. Middle East carriers reported a 12.3% year-on-year growth in freight traffic in October, IATA said.

Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific recently said it would move its freighter operations to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central starting from February 1.

Dubai is Cathay Pacific's transit hub for its European destinations including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Paris, and Milan. Cathay Pacific currently operates seven weekly freighter services and 14 weekly passenger services in Dubai.

Read more from The National here…

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