The Middle East airline market is all set to maintain its growth over the coming decade. Despite the declining economic growth in the international travel market, the Middle East succeeded in achieving steady growth in the airline market throughout the year 2022.
It is expected to accelerate over the next ten years. According to the findings of the “Global Fleet and MRO Market Forecast 2023–2033,” published by Oliver Wyman, a global marketing firm, the Middle East remains among the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world. Moreover, it has decided to expand its regional fleet by 5.1 percent annually over the next decade.
The Global Fleet and MRO Market Forecast 2023-2033
The report finds that the share of the Middle East’s global fleet will grow over the decade, from about 4.9 percent in 2023 to 6 percent in 2033. The global fleet is also expected to expand by one-third by 2033. It is anticipated to deliver a record number of aircraft over the next ten years. Formerly, the Middle East fleet was made up of wide bodies.
But it was found that over the next decade, the fleet’s growth will primarily be driven by the addition of narrow bodies. The reports also highlighted that the narrow bodies would increase the fleet from 39 percent to 48 percent, while the wide bodies would decrease it from 56 percent to 48 percent.
The major economic source of the Middle East aviation sector depends on international travel. Until 2019, aviation passenger traffic in the Middle East has increased every year over the past. But the COVID-19 pandemic slashed the airline market heavily.
After two years of standstill, the world’s economy got better in 2022. The airline industry benefited from air traffic around events like the World Cup, which was held in Qatar in the last two months of the year.
According to the report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), for 2021, the annual passenger volumes of Middle Eastern airlines were 71.6% below those of 2019. It has been reported that in January 2023, there was a 97.7 percent surge in airline traffic.
Saudi Arabia expects to dominate the Middle East Airline Market
Saudi Arabia currently holds a major share of the Middle Eastern aviation market and is expected to dominate the airline market. The country has witnessed a developmental increase in a number of areas related to the aviation industry and is thus undergoing a progressive change in becoming a major aviation industry in the field.
Saudi Arabia has always focused on the aviation sector as a means to develop its economy. The increased growth of the aviation industry in Saudi Arabia has been supported by the privatization of airports and the growth of airport infrastructure. With air passenger traffic showing signs of recovery after the pandemic and the government offering financial aid, airlines in the country are now focusing on fleet expansion.
Other parts of the Middle East also played a major role in this development. Studies showed that 2.9 million tourists visited Oman in 2022, which is a great increase compared to 2021. Oman has also established a number of tourism projects and hotels that cater to the needs of tourists. Dubai, on the other hand, has launched the Carbon Calculator Tool.
It was done by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism as a part of Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST), which aims at strengthening its position as one of the world’s leading tourist destinations. Major airline companies like Emirates and Qatar Airways have launched new traveler-friendly services, making them the best customer-friendly service providers in the field.
Growth in the Airline Market and Impending Threats
According to the report provided by the global management consulting firm, the number of commercial aircraft has increased by 27,400, which is nearly 98 percent of where it was in January.
Furthermore, it is estimated that by the year’s end, the global maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) market, which is required to keep the fleet in operation, is expected to return to 98 percent of its peak in 2019.
Oliver Wyman’s partner and the head of the Transportation, Services, and Operations Practices, André Martins, said that “the aviation industry has played a very important role in the growth of the Middle East region. The well-established players are continuously revamping their commercial models and operations to be ready for waves of growth,”
The forecast released by the global firm also highlighted a few challenges that the sector would have to deal with in the coming future. Some of the challenges mentioned were labor shortages, production delays, and the accelerated transition to net-zero operations.
Apart from the developments made in shifting from older, less-sufficient aircraft to newer models with improved engine efficiency, the greenhouse gas emissions of the industry are likely to increase over the next ten years because of the lack of alternatives to the current jet propulsion and the demand for air travel.