The UAE is investing more than $23.16 billion in the aviation infrastructure that will help its four national carriers with a combined fleet size of 502 aircraft to serve more than 75 million passengers annually.
Total capacity is expected to rise to more than 300 million passengers per year, cementing the UAE’s standing as the largest investor in airlines and aviation industry in MENA region.
Investments include $8bn in developing Al Maktoum International Airport, $7.6bn expansion of the Phase IV of Dubai International Airport, $6.8bn for the re-development of Abu Dhabi International Airport. In addition Sharjah International Airport is also undergoing an $400m investment in expansion of its terminal.
The combined fleet size of the four UAE airlines reached 502, including Emirates fleet of 268, Etihad Airways’ 120, FlyDubai’s 61 and Air Arabia’s 53. The UAE airlines add between 4-5 aircraft per month and the total combined fleet size of the UAE’s four airlines would cross 525 by the end of 2018. The UAE airlines have more than 300 more aircraft on order to join their fleets.
Dubai Airshow – the region’s largest aviation industry exhibition – last year saw $114bn worth of orders signed, including $27bn worth of orders by FlyDubai for 225 Boeing 737 Max aircraft and Emirates Airline’s $15.1bn for 40 Boeing B787-10.
The UAE has 14 airports, air strips and airfields served by 113 airlines with a total annual take-off and landings exceeding 540,000.
Dubai will host the first Global Investment in Aviation Summit (GIAS) from January 27-29, 2019.
The three-day summit will feature 500 delegates from 40 countries and comes at a time when the region’s aviation industry is riding high on efficiency and performance.
Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), said: “I am delighted to be here today as we prepare for the Global Investment in Aviation Summit. This summit is very close to UAE’s heart, as we have much to be proud of as a nation, from our humble aviation beginnings to now one of the biggest passenger hubs in the world.
“Yet, looking forward, we know that we can still do more. In fact, conservatively, we anticipate accommodating 118 million passengers by 2023 at the Dubai International Airport, and 120 million passengers upon completion of phase two of the Dubai World Central, and 200 million passengers upon its completion, all in ultra-modern infrastructures that match, if not surpass, the best in the world."
The demand for air transport will increase by an average of 4.3 percent per annum over the next 20 years. This implies that demand for air travel will increase by a factor of two and a half over the period.
Airlines worldwide will add 11,671 aircraft and grow to 37,978 in fleet size in ten years by 2028, from the current fleet size of 26,307, according to PlaneStats – an aviation research platform by global aviation research firm Oliver Wyman.
“The global fleet is forecast to grow 4.2 percent annually over the first five years, then slow to 3.3 percent in the second five years as the rate of deliveries decreases and removals remain high. These dynamics will result in a fleet that is younger and larger in average seating capacity,” the Global Fleet & MRO Market Forecast 2018 - 2028 said.
“The new fleet is expected to support revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) growth of nearly five percent as operators improve capacity management with the larger average seating capacity.
"By 2028, the average age of the active fleet will have decreased from 11.2 to 10.5 years, a significant reduction. Of nearly 20,700 aircraft deliveries, 44 percent will replace in-service aircraft a slight reduction from last year’s forecast of 50 percent.”For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.