Aircraft maintenance market in the region expected to grow
December 9, 2017 | 3:47 PM
by Times News Service
Adel Al Ali, Arab Aviation Summit Chairperson and Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia. - Supplied picture

Muscat: The Middle East’s aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) segment is a promising area, growing at a faster pace as compared to the global average and generating thousands of jobs. It is forecast to double by 2025, rising at 7.4 per cent per annum to reach $10.2 billion over the next decade, according to experts who attended the Arab Aviation Summit in Dubai.

According to Airbus’ Global Market Forecast, released this year, the fleet size of operators in the Middle East is forecast to more than double from 1,250 to 3,320 aircraft over the next two decades. By 2036, there will be 95 mega-cities, catering to 98 per cent of the world’s long-haul services. The five mega cities existing today in the Middle East will more than double to 11 over the next 20 years.

The strong growth potential of the Arab aviation and tourism sectors, despite various challenges, has been highlighted by a number of leading industry authorities. According to IATA, the Middle East's aviation market is forecast to grow 5 per cent annually until 2036. Predictions demonstrate that the sector will witness an extra 322 million passengers a year on routes to, from and within the region and the total market size will expand to 517 million passengers over this period. The region gained a 5 percent share of the global aviation market last year, flying 206.1 million passengers - an increase of 9.1 per cent over 2015.

Welcoming the delegates to the summit, Adel Al Ali, Arab Aviation Summit Chairperson and Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, said: “We gather every year to debate the ever changing state of the aviation industry and its complexities. Arab aviation is highly affected by the evolving geo-political situation, the global economy, technological developments and others. Our region is witnessing constant development and the theme for this year’s edition, ‘Time to Transform’, reflects this fact. Today, we address the sustainability of our industry and the challenges and opportunities it faces in the short and long term.”

This year alone has seen several changes that have impacted the aviation and tourism sectors including air traffic management, rising taxes and on-ground infrastructure. These have brought about key shifts in business models driven by economic changes, consumer demand and costs pressures. The summit delineates how market forces are driving the further evolution of Arab aviation and how greater collaboration between public and private sectors can be achieved to unlock the region’s potential.

The summit discussed key shifts in business models driven by economic borders, consumer demands and cost pressures and how market forces are driving the next evolution of Arab aviation. Abdul Wahab Teffaha, Secretary General, Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO) said: “Developing the aviation industry, which contributes directly to economic growth, creates jobs and business opportunities in almost all sectors, is what makes it exciting. But this will not happen by protectionism or by blocking key players from global and regional markets. As we face many present day challenges including air traffic management, sky liberalisation, rising taxes and charges, secondary airports among others, we need to work together to bring more social and economic benefits to the Arab world.

‘We need to learn from Dubai as it has created its own culture. Its government has subscribed not only to open skies but to openness to everything. We have tried protectionism and failed because it creates inefficiencies. Dubai has succeeded due to openness and the removal of the idea of protectionism.”

The summit was attended by more than 200 industry participants from 15 Arab countries.

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