A new paper from the Center for International Private Enterprise at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce examines the development of the aviation sector in the Middle East and North Africa. (Thanks to colleague Mitch Boersma for passing this along.) Jawad Rachami points out that the region’s “share of global passenger traffic is expected to hover at less than 6 percent in the next 20 years, and the region’s share of the world’s total number of flights is expected to remain at about 3.5 percent during the same period,” arguing that “[t]his is reflective of MENA’s poor integration into the global economy and the weakness of its market and governance institutions.” Moreover, the leading node of aviation growth in the region is Dubai, which accounts for nearly three times as much traffic as Cairo, the region’s second-largest airport.
Rachami identifies four “trajectories” for aviation growth in the region. The first are “leaders” like Dubai and the other Gulf states, which have invested oil money and sovereign investment revenues into strategic infrastructure investments. (more…)