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Tue 26 Feb 2008 06:48 PM

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Etihad CEO: Mid-east to be global aviation industry centre

Etihad Airways' CEO James Hogan is expected to label Middle East aviation the global industry "centre" during a sector summit tomorrow.

Etihad Airways' CEO James Hogan is expected to label Middle East aviation the global industry "centre" during a sector summit tomorrow.

The Australian chief executive will make the statement during the Middle East Aviation Outlook Summit, which takes place in Abu Dhabi.

While addressing 300 delegates at the conference, Hogan will also insist Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi is contributing to the industry's growth.

Other topics that Hogan is expected to cover include the business and leisure opportunities that the Middle East offers, liberalisation across the industry and expected traffic growth.

Elsewhere, the event, which takes place at the Beach Rotana Hotel, will focus on deregulation, civil aviation authorities, and the region's ideal location for launching an airline.

During his speech, Hogan will quote various figures to support his views. Throughout last year's Paris Air Show, Middle East airlines spent some US$50 billion. Meanwhile, airport operators across the region are investing $37 billion to increase passenger capacity at 10 hubs.

The UAE continues to attract increasing visitors each year, with travel and tourism accounting for 12.1% of its GDP in 2006. This figure is expected to grow 5% year-on-year between 2007 and 2016.

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