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Middle East airport capacity crunch looming?


The ten leading Middle East hubs are investing some USD48 billion in new/expanded airport projects over the next 30 years, which will provide capacity for an additional 320 million passengers p/a. This will take the leading hubs' total capacity to just over 460 million passengers p/a. But will it be enough? Long term growth forecasts suggest the Middle East region as a whole will need capacity for 600-700 million seats p/a within 20 years, while project delays and cost-over runs could also create a capacity crunch in the Middle East. This could threaten governments' national aviation and tourism development programmes and undermine the high quality and efficient product offerings of the region's airlines. [4844 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • Seats surging: but will there be enough capacity on the ground?
  • Construction projects a combined USD29 billion over budget and 26 years behind schedule
  • Dubai: Al Maktoum International Airport: USD2 billion and two years over budget
  • Dubai International Airport expansion makes up for Al Maktoum delay
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport: Within budget so far, but delayed by four years
  • New Doha International Airport: +USD8.5 billion and 3.5 years late
  • Muscat International Airport: Two year extension to cost an additional USD500 million
  • Jeddah International Airport: Completed part of USD1.5 billion upgrade on time, but added an additional USD9.8 billion in works
  • Cairo International Airport: 13 months overdue, +USD200 million
  • Sharjah, Bahrain, Kuwait and Beirut also expanding capacity
  • Outlook: Crunch time

Graphs and data:

  • Middle East airports current and planned additional passenger capacity (mill): 2010-2040
  • Middle East annual capacity (million seats to/from/within region): 2001 to 2009
  • Middle East capacity growth scenarios: 2001 to 2009 actual and 2010 to 2028 forecasts
  • Status of Middle East airport development projects: Investment (USD, millions): Mid-2007 vs 2010
  • Emirates airline fleet: Mar-2010
  • Dubai International Airport passenger numbers and passenger numbers growth: Feb-2009 to Feb-2010
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport passenger numbers and passenger numbers growth: Feb-2009 to Feb-2010
  • Doha International Airport capacity (seats): Dec-2001 to Dec-2009
  • Qatar Airways fleet: Jan-2010
  • Muscat International Airport Phase I expansion
  • Muscat International Airport passenger numbers and passenger numbers growth: 2001 to 2009
  • Capacity (seats) at Muscat: Dec-2001 to Dec-2009
  • Capacity to/from Saudi Arabia: 2001 to 2009
  • Capacity (seats) to/from Egypt: 2001 to 2009
  • Other Middle East airport expansion projects
  • Capacity (seats) at Beirut, Bahrain and Kuwait: Dec-2001 to Dec-2009
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