(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Middle Eastern airlines will require
2,340 aircraft by 2029 with a total value of 390 billion as the
regional industry expands, Boeing predicted recently. Airbus also
forecast that by 2028, the Middle East fleet will treble in size.
Boeing also estimates that the regional aviation industry will
grow upward at an average of 7.1 percent a year for the next 20
About 43 percent of the expected aircraft deliveries will be
wide-bodies, confirming the trend that the Middle East will play an
increasing role in global aviation (long haul),reported the Saudi
The high growth is aided by several factors including aircraft orders, tourism, government spending, low-cost airlines,
deregulation, among others. Massive expansion programs were initiated
for both airport infrastructure and fleet expansion.
Currently, there are 37 main civil airports in the GCC region
alone. Of these, more than 30 are in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Saudi
Arabia has four international airports and 22 domestic airports.
The Kingdom s international airports account for 85 percent of passenger
traffic.Passenger traffic in the GCC has grown at a CAGR of 10 percent
between 2002 and 2010 significantly higher than the global traffic growth in the same period which was between 1 percent and 3 percent.
The explosive passenger traffic has necessitated the large-scale
expansion of existing facilities to cope with the demand, said the
Consequently, GCC governments have ratcheted up investment in the
upgradation and expansion of airports to satisfy existing demand and
achieve future strategic goals.
These investments are in the neighborhood of 104 billion over the coming few years, concentrated
primarily in the UAE; the majority of which is for the Al Maktoum
Airport with an estimated cost of 50 billion, due to be completed by
2020, Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) said in its recent report.Dubai, Kuwait, and Qatar have at least one airport project on the
anvil. Oman has two major airport expansions in Muscat and Salalah,
and Saudi Arabia has started the expansion of the airports in Madina
and Jeddah. Bahrain has begun the expansion of its existing terminal
but has cancelled a project for two new terminals.By 2020, Emirates, Qatar, and Etihad airlines will have the
capacity to carry nearly 200 million passengers four times their
current capacity. By 2015, the Dubai, Doha, and Abu Dhabi airports will reach an
annual capacity of 190 million passengers. Dubai s new, five-runway
airport will be able to handle 70 million passengers. Dubai Airport
has doubled in size every few years. Abu Dhabi and Qatar are following suit.