By Mike Hogan
Sector in Ireland sustains 42,000 jobs through 250 leading companies and provides an economic boost to the Irish economy of $4.5bn
Aviation in the UAE plays a vitally important role in all of our lives by providing a gateway to the world to people, a hub for transporting goods and employs hundreds of thousands of people.
In Ireland, it is just as important and offers a close synergy between our two countries.
The growing demand by passengers to travel to all parts of the world will mean airlines need to add to their fleets, airports will need to expand their services and capacity, and all of this will require an expansion in the aviation and aerospace sector to meet these growing expectations.
At the Dubai Airshow this week, we are seeing all parts of the sector rising to the challenge, none more so than the Irish companies who continue to innovate through their high degree of expertise, goods and services across the sector.
Aviation and aerospace is a key sector in Ireland sustaining 42,000 jobs through 250 leading companies and providing an economic boost to the Irish economy of €4.1 billion ($4.5bn).
Shannon is home to the largest aerospace and aviation cluster in Ireland, with over 80 firms and growing steadily. The Shannon aviation cluster spans the industry value chain, encompassing everything from aircraft leasing, maintenance and recycling to component manufacture, parts repair and business aviation. Within this, Shannon Group’s International Aviation Services Centre helps these companies to develop their businesses. It also supports new entrants keen to join this growing nucleus of aerospace excellence, ensuring that Shannon remains a global centre for the aviation industry.
With this expertise, Irish companies are well placed to compete for a share of the ever growing global aerospace and aviation sector which is estimated to require 38,000 new planes by 2036 to cater for the projected growth in passenger numbers from 4bn to 7.8bn.
According to the International Air Transport Association’s most recent projections looking ahead to 2037, the UAE aviation sector, which currently supports approximately 800,000 jobs, could see this rise to 1.4 million alongside contributing $128bn to the UAE economy.
For both Ireland and the UAE, this key sector makes a significant boost to our economies but it also ensures that our nations continue to stay connected globally with the movement of people and goods. It means trade links can be boosted, creating more jobs, and resulting in a flourishing and prosperous economy.
With trade between nations proving the lifeblood of strong economies, it is also one of the main drivers for nations to forge even closer relationships that bring mutual benefits.
This spirit of close cooperation and development of ever closer working relationships is at the heart of the approach by Ireland to the Middle East.
This is clearly evident this week with Pat Breen, Ireland’s Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, who is currently leading one of the largest ministerial led trade missions to the region that includes Kuwait, UAE and Bahrain.
This forms part of Ireland's ambitious strategy, Global Ireland, which aims to double its global footprint and impact. In Bahrain and Kuwait, this marked the first ministerial trade mission in a decade.
With Brexit on the horizon, it is more important than ever for Irish companies to diversify into global markets using their Irish advantage to seize new opportunities backed by Enterprise Ireland who are operating across the globe to promote Irish business interests internationally.
With a growing aviation sector, the future is bright for Ireland and our leading aviation talent. We will see the Irish aerospace and aviation sector continue to soar high, helping to shape the future growth of our proud nation.