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ME aviation set to recover to pre-Covid size with ‘leaner, efficient' fleet in 2023

Issac John /Dubai
issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com Filed on June 15, 2021
Industry experts expect the region’s aviation industry to fully recover by the third quarter of 2024 as it is on track to stage a rebound later this year after hitting bottom in 2020. — Supplied photo

According to industry analysts, the Middle East global commercial fleet will have a long-term average annual growth rate of 4.2 per cent


The Middle East global commercial fleet will be “more lean and efficient” when it recovers to its pre-Covid size in 2023, aviation experts forecast at an industry show on Tuesday.

“Airlines and MROs (maintenance, repair and overhaul segments of the aviation industry) have shown incredible versatility to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. The smaller fleet that emerges in 2022 will be more lean and efficient. However, labour availability will soon return as a critical challenge for MRO,” Michael Wette, partner at Oliver Wyman, said at the opening of the MRO Middle East show at Dubai World Trade Centre.

According to industry analysts, the Middle East global commercial fleet will have a long-term average annual growth rate of 4.2 per cent. A survey conducted shows that the majority of respondents expect MRO demand in the region to recover in 2022.

“Airlines and MROs have shown incredible versatility to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. The smaller fleet that emerges in 2022 will be more lean and efficient. However, labour availability will soon return as a critical challenge for MRO,” said Wette.

Industry experts expect the region’s aviation industry to fully recover by the third quarter of 2024 as it is on track to stage a rebound later this year after hitting bottom in 2020. However, they said global regulations on Covid restrictions, passenger confidence and flexible airline propositions will be crucial to sector recovery.

According to International Air Transport Association, domestic markets will start to recover during second half of 2021 and short-haul leisure travel will be the first to recover due to huge demand from the mid-income segment. The rebound in domestic and regional leisure passenger traffic will be driven by massive pent-up demand, helped by relaxed travel restrictions and improved consumer confidence, according to aviation pundits.

“This trend will ultimately increase demand from airlines for smaller more cost-effective aircraft — a maximum of 120 passengers, on direct routes, with increased frequency of service,” one analyst said.

On the opening day of MRO Middle East, Boeing and Turkish Technic announced a renewed tailored parts package agreement, extending the MRO provider’s current contract by three years. The contract will enable Turkish Technic to reinforce its efficiency, reliability and access to a global network of parts and component services.

Exhibitors at the MRO Middle East include Etihad Airways Engineering, Jordan Aeronautical-Systems Company, Liebherr Middle East, Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace Hub, Sanad, Inc. SR Technics, Turkish Technic, Joramco and VD Gulf (UAE).

Joramco and VD Gulf signed a framework agreement on MRO cooperation at the show. Under the agreement, both independent MROs aim to expand their existing capabilities and capacity, optimize their synergies for a one-stop-shop customer experience, in addition to encouraging and promoting sustainable development for both organisations.

— issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

author

Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.





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