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Aviation sector in ME expected to support 2m jobs: study

altMarch 12-The number of jobs in the Middle East (ME) air transport sector is likely to hit two million jobs over the next 20 years, said a study by Oxford Economics, a global research firm. At present, air transport in the ME has provided jobs to 400,000 people in the region and will add another 750,000 jobs in the next 20 years. As a result of this, the GDP of the region will stand at $50 billion (Dh183.64bn). The tourism sector will get 1.2 million jobs and the GDP contribution of the same will be $35bn, added the report.

The research numbers are supported by the Middle Eastern airlines' staff growth in the region. Emirates said on Tuesday it planned to recruit 2,000 cabin crew in 2010. The Dubai-based carrier has a total employee strength of close to 50,000, including around 11,000 cabin crew and 2,000 pilots. Etihad Airways, meanwhile, employs 7,844 personnel, 6,614 of which are in the airline's Abu Dhabi headquarters and 1,230 are in outstation offices. Etihad Airways has 2,971 cabin crew members and 854 pilots in total. The airline recruited 1,227 employees last year.

“The industry is about 80 per cent more productive than the economy as a whole. This is despite the fact that the oil industry, which dominates many economies in the Middle East, is a very highly productive sector. In particular, air transport supports regional tourism. The tourism industry is an important source of jobs, skills and incomes throughout the Middle East,” said the report.

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