The UAE is investing more than $23.16 billion in the aviation infrastructure that will help its four national carriers with a combined fleet size of 502 aircraft to serve more than 75 million passengers annually.
Total capacity is expected to rise to more than 300 million passengers per year, cementing the UAE’s standing as the largest investor in airlines and aviation industry in MENA region.
Investments include $8bn in developing Al Maktoum International Airport, $7.6bn expansion of Phase IV of Dubai International Airport, $6.8bn for the re-development of Abu Dhabi International Airport. In addition, Sharjah International Airport is also undergoing a $400m investment in an expansion of its terminal.
The combined fleet size of the four UAE airlines reached 502, including Emirates fleet of 268, Etihad Airways’ 120, FlyDubai’s 61 and Air Arabia’s 53. The UAE airlines add between 4-5 aircraft per month and the total combined fleet size of the UAE’s four airlines would cross 525 by the end of 2018. The UAE airlines have more than 300 more aircraft on order to join their fleets.
Dubai Airshow – the region’s largest aviation industry exhibition – last year saw $114bn worth of orders signed, including $27bn worth of orders by FlyDubai for 225 Boeing 737 Max aircraft and Emirates Airline’s $15.1bn for 40 Boeing B787-10. The UAE has 14 airports, air strips and airfields served by 113 airlines with a total annual take-off and landings exceeding 540,000.