Despite the global aviation industry's growing concerns over spiralling fuel costs, the current economic downtown and increased environmental challenges, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Government of Dubai and President and CEO of Emirates Group, said the Middle East aerospace sector will be resilient to these pressures and will continue to record strong growth.
Speaking at the opening of Aircraft Interiors Middle East 2008 (AIME) – the dedicated aircraft interiors sector event, which opened yesterday featuring 100 companies from 15 countries – Sheikh Ahmed reiterated how impressive regional aviation growth was driving the international aircraft interiors market, and that Middle Eastern carriers and business jet operators, were leading the way in innovation and demand.
"The global aviation industry is enjoying mixed fortunes at the moment – there is positive and negative news. But in Dubai we believe there is the potential for it to be all good news especially for all of those in the aircraft interiors sector – which is entering one of the most exciting stages in its recent development.
"While we hear of airlines around the world cancelling back routes and postponing orders, in the Gulf we continue to see unrivalled growth. Although some routes may be affected, others are growing at a rapid pace. That is why Emirates continues to push for the new fleet deliveries we need to sustain our growth – we believe growth will continue despite the global economic uncertainty.
"And we are not alone. Gulf Air bought new jets last month. Etihad is driving an ambitious growth strategy, and we've recently seen the introduction of several low-cost carriers operating regionally," he said.