PASSENGER traffic in the Middle East and in Asia Pacific will grow 4.9 percent per year until 2034, compared to a 3.8 percent annual growth for the world, said the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) on Thursday.
Globally, IATA expects passenger traffic to rise by 100 percent, from 3.5 billion people in 2015 to 7 billion by 2034, which is less than the 7.4 billion it forecasted earlier last year.
The Middle East will see an extra 237 million passengers a year on routes to, from and within the region by 2034, the IATA said in a report.
The United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will enjoy strong growth of 5.6 percent, 4.8 percent, and 4.6 percent respectively, with total market size at 383 million passengers, it said.
“There is much work to be done to prepare for the 7 billion passengers expected to take the skies in 2034,” said IATA Director General and CEO Tony Tyler.
According to the IATA, another driver of growth in the region will be Iran, which has a market of 12 million passengers, mostly domestic flyers.
“If strong gross domestic product growth is accompanied with a full normalization of international relations and the end to sanctions, the total size of the Iran market could be 43.6 million passengers by 2034,” said the IATA report.
Overall, IATA sees a dip in long-term demand. The revised result reflects negative developments in the global economy that are expected to dampen demand for air transport.
Taylor, the IATA head, said economic and political events over the last year have impacted some of the fundamentals for growth.
“As a result, we expect some 400 million fewer people to be traveling in 2034 than we did at this time last year.” – ANA