A new Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) aviation study predicts that the Gulf region will see 250 million passengers using its airports each year by 2020 and that annual Middle East aircraft movements will reach 2.3 million five years later, when the number of people living within range of a single flight reaches some 7 billion.
The study, titled “The World Via Gulf” and published for Dubai’s The Airport Show, scheduled to take place from May 6 to 8, concludes that the region’s aviation industry will create 294,000 jobs over the next two decades.
Middle East airlines, led by the “Big Three” Gulf airlines–Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways–plan to increase capacity this year by 12.8 percent. While Dubai Airports officials say that passenger throughput at Dubai International will overtake that of London Heathrow in 2015, the study goes further, predicting Dubai will become the world’s busiest hub that year.
Study author Mohammed Mannan noted that in the next seven years, the three airlines will collectively operate two-thirds of the world’s youngest aircraft, creating something of an air transport leviathan. More info