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ECONOMIC GROWTH ENGINE

Air transport provided 2m jobs in Mideast, $116bn of GDP

, May 24, 2014

The air transport industry plays an important role in supporting the growth of economies across the Middle East providing two million jobs and $116 billion of region’s GDP, according to a new study released today by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) at its Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva, Switzerland.

The report, Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders outlines how air transport supports two million jobs and $116 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) in the region.

Often overlooked when discussing aviation are the benefits that the industry has ‘beyond the airport’. This includes supporting millions of jobs in the wider economy; enabling business trips, the travel of friends and relatives, tourism and the rapid delivery of cargo, stated the report.

Of the two million jobs across the Middle East region, 356,000 are within the industry itself and the rest are supported as part of the industry’s supply chain and the significant role air transport plays in the tourism sector.

ATAG executive director, Michael Gill, said that the report also outlines the worldwide impact of the industry. "Looking at the global benefits of aviation, our report identifies that the air transport industry supports over 58 million jobs and $2.4 trillion in GDP worldwide. At the current rate of growth, we expect aviation to support over 100 million jobs and $5.8 trillion in GDP around the world within two decades," he added.

Commenting on the report, Abdul Wahab Teffaha, the secretary general of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO), said: "The report shows that airlines in the Middle East supported 149,000 direct jobs in 2012 – 42 per cent of direct jobs generated by air transport in the Middle East."

"Going even further, these airlines extensively contributed to a wider $116 billion in GDP supported by the whole air transport sector supply chain in the Middle East. It is crucial that this value is embraced by our governments in continuing the healthy taxation environment and the development of infrastructure and to further build on the success of their airlines by pursuing more liberalisation of market access and giving urgent attention to working towards seamless air traffic management in the region," he noted.

Salem Jahdli, the director for Middle East affairs for the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), said: "The economic benefits generated by rapid Middle East air traffic growth are threatened by increasing congestion. With around half of the airspace reserved for military use, States should allow more flexible use of military airspace for commercial flights."

"The present fragmentation and lack of harmonisation could be overcome if States would organise airspace according to operational requirements rather than national borders. CANSO and ANSPs are collaborating with ICAO and States to produce a Middle East Regional Airspace Plan to address these and other issues to enable harmonised and seamless airspace across the region," added Jahdli.-TradeArabia News Service
 




Tags: Jobs | Middle East | air transport |

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