Global, Domestic Traffic Fuels Middle East Aviation Growth

Few regions in the world can attain the remarkable aviation growth in the Middle East. In the past decade, traffic within, to, and from the region has quadrupled. With aircraft as the A380, the A350 XWB, the A330 and A330neo, more than 90% of the world’s population can link through the Middle East. Estimates have calculated that the aviation industry in the region supports two million jobs and generates USD 116 billion.

In the next two decades (2015-2034), traffic in the Middle East is predicted to grow at 6.0 percent, which is higher than the average 4.6 percent. This will require nearly 2,460 new passenger and freighter aircraft, valued at USD 590 billion. Nearly 1,890 aircraft will be dedicated for growth and the other 570 for replacements. By 2034, both passenger and freighter aircraft in the Middle East will practically double from around 1,100 in 2015, to over 2,950 by 2034.

Long haul is at the core of international traffic growth. This is made possible with the use of wide-body aircraft such as the A380 and A330. The A350 and the A330neo will be widely used in the future. In the next twenty years, the region will need around 1,570 wide-body aircraft to meet the surge in demand.
Domestic and inter-regional growth is around 6 percent. Driven by urbanization, the rise in the number of mega-cities from four to nine, and the trend to travel for business and tourism purposes, by 2034 will see the Middle East requiring an additional 890 single-aisle aircraft.

Emerging economies are now fueling worldwide traffic growth. Economic growth rates in countries such as China, India, and Africa will average around 5.8 percent annually, which will double the amount of the middle class to 4 billion people. By 2034, the 6.3 billion people in these countries will account for 40 percent of private worldwide consumption compared to the current 31 percent. This trend is useful for their respective economies and for air travel growth.

Mr. John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer-Customers, said, “The remarkable rise of the Middle East as the world’s crossroad for aviation owes to its wide-body aircraft. Regional and domestic routes are also increasing with our single aisle products. Emerging countries and economies with a burgeoning middle class will continue to generate air traffic growth.”

According to Airbus’ Global Market Forecast, the next twenty years will see global passenger traffic grow at a pace of 4.6 percent annually. This requires around 32,600 new aircraft (31,800 passenger sized 100 seats and more than 800 freighters) worth USD 4.7 trillion. By 2034, passenger and freighter fleets will likely double to 38,000 from the present 19,000 aircraft.

The size of the average aircraft has grown by 40 percent since the 80s. Airlines have been up-sizing to make better use of slots especially at airports where adding frequency is difficult. An emphasis on sustainable growth has resulted in fuel burn and noise reductions of at least 70 percent in the past 40 years. This trend is maintained with innovations such as the A320neo, the A330neo, the A380 and the A350 XWB.