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Published on : Monday, November 11, 2013
The Middle East aviation sector is leading a global revival of air travel growth, recording a year-on-year double digit increase of international passengers, according to the latest report released by the International Air Transport Association.The Air Passenger Market Analysis report, issued in August 2013, said that Middle East carriers continue to experience the strongest rates of international passenger growth, with year-to-date Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) growing by 12.2% from August 2012 to August 2013.
In comparison to a global average RPK increase of 5.5% year-on-year, the strong growth trend is likely to continue, with European airline manufacturer Airbus predicting that Middle East airlines will buy 1,000 of its aircraft, worth US$124 billion, over the next ten years.
The positive outlook for the Middle East aviation sector will come as good news to more than 80 travel catering service providers from 18 countries at the International Travel Catering Association (ITCA) Abu Dhabi event this month, taking place from 24-26 November at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Much of the growth of air travel from the region is driven by tourism along with a large expatriate population, in particular in the GCC, where nearly 50 million expatriate residents travel home or to other global destinations on their annual vacations.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the Middle East generated US$78.1 billion in visitor exports in 2012, while this year the region is expected to have attracted 57 million international tourist arrivals.Co-located with SIAL Middle East – the region’s fastest growing professional food business platform – under the strategic partnership of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), and supported by Etihad Airways as the main event sponsor, ITCA Abu Dhabi will spotlight some of the most innovative in-flight services and solutions available on the market today.