Monday, May 26, 2014

ATAG: The Sustainable Economic Engine of the Middle East

GENEVA - Saturday, May 24th 2014 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The air transport industry plays an important role in supporting the growth of economies across the Middle East, according to a new study released today by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) at its Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva, Switzerland. The report, Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders outlines how air transport supports two million jobs and $116 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) in the region.

Often overlooked when discussing aviation are the benefits that the industry has ‘beyond the airport’. This includes supporting millions of jobs in the wider economy; enabling business trips, the travel of friends and relatives, tourism and the rapid delivery of cargo. Of the two million jobs across the Middle East region, 356,000 are within the industry itself and the rest are supported as part of the industry’s supply chain and the significant role air transport plays in the tourism sector.

ATAG executive director, Michael Gill, says that the report also outlines the worldwide impact of the industry, “Looking at the global benefits of aviation, our report identifies that the air transport industry supports over 58 million jobs and $2.4 trillion in GDP worldwide. At the current rate of growth, we expect aviation to support over 100 million jobs and $5.8 trillion in GDP around the world within two decades.”

ATAG has established a web resource to outline some of these benefits:

Commenting on the report, Abdul Wahab Teffaha, Secretary General of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO), said, “The report shows that airlines in the Middle East supported 149,000 direct jobs in 2012 – 42% of direct jobs generated by air transport in the Middle East. Going even further, these airlines extensively contributed to a wider $116 billion in GDP supported by the whole air transport sector supply chain in the Middle East. It is crucial that this value is embraced by our governments in continuing the healthy taxation environment and the development of infrastructure and to further build on the success of their airlines by pursuing more liberalisation of market access and giving urgent attention to working towards seamless air traffic management in the region.”

Salem Jahdli, director Middle East affairs for the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), said: “The economic benefits generated by rapid Middle East air traffic growth are threatened by increasing congestion. With around half of the airspace reserved for military use, States should allow more flexible use of military airspace for commercial flights. The present fragmentation and lack of harmonisation could be overcome if States would organise airspace according to operational requirements rather than national borders. CANSO and ANSPs are collaborating with ICAO and States to produce a Middle East Regional Airspace Plan to address these and other issues to enable harmonised and seamless airspace across the region.”



    Photographs of the launch of the report are available from Getty Images wire service, search Sustainable Aviation Summit Geneva
    The full report and case studies are available from
    Media may also be interested in the newswire, capturing sustainable aviation news from across the industry at
    Follow the Summit and other sustainable aviation news at and through the #GSAS2014 hashtag
    The Air Transport Action Group is a coalition of organisations and companies throughout the air transport industry that drive the sustainable development of the air transport sector. Funding members include ACI, Airbus, ATR, Boeing, Bombardier, CANSO, CFM, Embraer, Honeywell Aerospace, GE, IATA, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and Safran.

AIR TRANSPORT ACTION GROUP | Geneva, Switzerland | +41 22 770 2672 |


Haldane Dodd
+41 79 429 8710
Twitter: @enviroaero

+961 1 861297

Quentin Browell
+31 23 568 5380


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