Middle East Aviation: Transformation, Growth and Future Challenges



DUBAI, May 6, 2024 - The next wave of rapid transformation may see some aviation markets triple in size in the next decade according to data in OAG’s latest industry report ‘Middle East Aviation: Transformation, Growth and Future Challenges’ but there are still new challenges ahead.

The report has been released to coincide with this week’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) and highlights future developments set to unfold in the world’s sixth largest market, which signify potential disruption and intensified competition in the years to come.

Key Highlights Include: -

  1. New airlines, increased mobility and massive infrastructure developments will lead to a period of rapid growth and transformation.
  2. A lowering of airfares as increased capacity and new entrants create a consumers’ market.
  3. Passenger loyalties will be tested as airlines compete for everyone’s business.
  4. New Saudi Arabia based airlines will bring improved levels of connectivity to the country and region.
  5. A difficult supply market and a fierce competitive response will challenge ambitious passenger targets.

Middle East aviation has experienced astounding growth with the fastest-growing country markets including Qatar (12.5% AAGR), United Arab Emirates (9.3%) and Saudi Arabia (6.5%). (See Chart 1, below). With airline capacity of 718bn ASKs in 2024 compared to 124bn in 2000, growth is set to continue as this exciting market now enters its next phase, bringing both rapid growth and market complexity.

Chart One

Middle East Country Capacity 2000-2024  (2)

Visionary investment in Saudi Arabia has set in motion the creation of new service industry sectors, which should see the country bring airline passenger volumes in line with other regional markets. Whilst the target is ambitious, achieving such a number is becoming increasingly challenging as the aviation sector faces a series of supply challenges.

“Increased capacity and new airlines will create a consumers’ market with a lowering of airfares.” explains OAG’s Chief Analyst, John Grant. Grant adds “A mix of emergent low-cost and high-quality airlines, along with state-of-the-art aircraft will create a new wave of sustainable aviation throughout the region that will potentially leave some airlines scrambling to survive.”


OAG is attending the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) between May 6-9 and can be found at stand TTC-415.

About OAG

OAG is the leading data platform for the global travel industry, powering the growth and innovation of the air travel ecosystem. It has the world’s largest network of flight information.

In 2023, OAG acquired Infare, the leading provider of competitor air travel data, empowering airlines and other travel industry players to make effective pricing decisions.

Together, OAG and Infare form part of the most trusted data platform for aviation and make travel better by empowering the global travel industry with high-quality, relevant datasets covering the whole journey from planning to customer experience.

Headquartered in the UK, with operations in the USA, Denmark, France, Germany, Singapore, Japan, China, and Lithuania.

All media enquiries to pressoffice@oag.com

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