Subscribe Free
in Airports

Experts highlight aviation industry challenges and opportunities at GALF

Posted 17 May 2017 · Add Comment

Aviation leaders and experts highlighted key aviation industry issues, challenges and opportunities for the industry worldwide during the fifth Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF).

Uncertain oil price is one of the major concerns for the aviation industry and advanced technology will play an important role to increase the customer experience, which is most important, said the industry specialists, who also discussed challenges in airport capacity, next gen technology facilitation, financing of airport projects and innovation and refining the airport role. 

The aviation industry experts highlighted that the industry is facing short-term and long-term challenges and there are also opportunities on increasing travel demand in the wake of competitive price on lower oil price.

Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer, Dubai Airports, in his keynote address, talked about oil price, global economy, political unrest and consumer confidence as short-term factors. “If oil price goes up it will be another problem for the industry.” 

He added that technology, urbanisation, economic balance of power and resource scarcity are the long-term factors. He appreciated the role of technology to increase the customer experience at the airports. The cost of infrastructure improvement is phenomenally high for any airport, he said adding that smart technology can play an important role to improve the capacity and service.

Dubai invested around $7.8 billion during the last two years to improve the infrastructure.

We are planning to increase the capacity of Dubai Airports to 118 million passengers by 2023 and we are expecting the number of passengers to increase at both the airports to 90 million by the end of 2017,” said Griffiths.

Dubai International ranked the world’s busiest airport for international traffic.

Aviation sector is contributing a lot in Dubai’s GDP and also creating a lot of employment opportunities. He mentioned that the aviation will contribute $88.1 billion or 45 per cent of the Dubai GDP by 2030.

During another key-note address, General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Deputy Director General Omar Bin Ghaleb talked about UAE Aviation Outlook 2025. He hoped that by 2025 the country will successfully address many of the challenges to the industry by adopting corrective measures.

Aviation industry is going through a lot of changes in the wake of some uncertainties but it is a very interesting place to be, said Peter Harbison, Executive Chairman of CAPA- Centre for Aviation.

During his presentation at the GALF, he said it’s a relatively benign environment, with low interest rates, low oil prices, economies performing adequately. He added that the main driver of profit growth since 2014 has been lower fuel costs. But he also mentioned that in a competitive market place, lower costs because of fuel price have a strong tendency to drive prices down. So, instead of pushing profits up, lower prices squeeze margins. 

A recent IATA business confidence survey said: “On the demand side, the survey responses were consistent with the robust growth seen in both passenger and freight volume at the start of 2017. Our respondents remain very positive about demand prospects for the year ahead: more than three-quarters expect passenger volumes to rise, while the forward-looking weighted-average score for freight has now risen in each of the past four quarterly survey.”


The initial financial results from Q1 2017 highlights the extent that airline profit margins were squeezed in the opening months of the year by a combination of higher costs and weak yields.


Harbison said that the uncertain direction of oil price is one of the major concerns for the aviation industry. Nobody really knows where fuel prices will go. “Only three months ago, projections were for a range of $55-65 for 2017,” he added. He said any airline that is not making money now is at risk if fuel prices rise.


Talking about low cost capacity, he said the bulk of LCC orders are in Asia Pacific. This promises a very competitive market for the next decade. India has more LCC orders than any other country and they will stimulate the growth domestically and in East Asia.


He said China will become the world’s biggest ever aviation disruptor. It’s a massive and still rapidly growing domestic market. Its airlines are going international at an accelerated rate. They have very low costs and new equipment.

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

Cooperation the key to a safer future for all

Airspace, safety and security are key issues for the Middle East and North Africa. The United Nations body for civil aviation, ICAO, has its regional headquarters in Cairo, where Alan Peaford met regional vice president, Mohamed Rahma.

SITA: Biometric technology is emerging as top solution for airlines and airports

Biometric technology is emerging as the top solution for airlines and airports to automate identity checks amid rising passenger numbers. This is according to Biometrics for Better Travel: An ID Management Revolution, a report

Spike Aerospace predicts supersonic market exceeds 13 Million+ annually

"Supersonic flights could be enjoyed by over 13 million passengers annually when flights begin in 2025," according to Vik Kachoria, CEO & President of Spike Aerospace.

Qatar Airways and Iberia expand codeshare partnership

Qatar Airways and Iberia have extended of their codeshare partnership, offering Iberia customers increased connectivity to destinations across the Middle East and Asia, as well as providing enhanced accessibility for Qatar Airways

Emirates anticipates high passenger traffic for spring holiday

Travel is expected to peak for Emirates, as the airline expects yet another busy period with visitors passing through Terminal 3 ahead of the spring holiday.

Boeing 737 MAX 7 completes successful first flight

Boeing's new 737 MAX 7 successfully completed its first flight today. The airplane remains on schedule and now begins a comprehensive flight test programme leading to certification and delivery in 2019.

TAA SK0902311218
See us at
Aviation Africa BT18418BIAS BT271017161118SOFEX BT2018ArabianTravelMkBT250418AirportShow BT1502090518Istanbul Airshow BT22018Global Aerospace BT2018MEBAA BT2018