The Middle East is forecast to see an extra 290 million air passengers on routes to, from and within the region by 2037.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a new report that demand in the region will grow strongly with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4 percent.
The total market size will be 501 million passengers by 2037, IATA said.
Globally, IATA revealed that present trends in air transport suggest passenger numbers could double to 8.2 billion in 2037.
The latest update to IATA’s 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast, shows that an increasing shift eastwards in the centre of gravity of the industry is behind the continued strong growth.
Over the next two decades, the forecast anticipates a 3.5 percent CAGR, leading to a doubling in passenger numbers from today’s levels.
IATA warned, however, that growth prospects for air transport, and the economic benefits driven by aviation, could be curtailed if protectionist measures are implemented by governments.
"Aviation is growing, and that is generating huge benefits for the world. A doubling of air passengers in the next 20 years could support 100 million jobs globally. There are two important things that stand out about this year’s forecast. Firstly, we are seeing a geographical reshuffling of world air traffic to the East. And secondly, we foresee a significant negative impact on the growth and benefits of aviation if tough and restrictive protectionist measures are implemented," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO
The Asia-Pacific region will drive the biggest growth with more than half the total number of new passengers over the next 20 years coming from these markets.
IATA said China will displace the United States as the world’s largest aviation market in the mid-2020s. The rebalancing of China’s economy towards consumption will support strong passenger demand over the long term.
India will take third place after the US, surpassing the UK around 2024 while Indonesia is forecast to be a standout performer—climbing from the world’s 10th largest aviation market in 2017 to the fourth largest by 2030, IATA added.
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