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Middle East – still one of the most desirable destinations for pilots

Posted 29 November 2017 · Add Comment

Despite instability in the region, fluctuating oil prices and unpredictable politics, the Gulf region is still one of the most attractive destinations for aviation specialists.

With the recent news of laptop bans, visa restrictions, a slowdown of the oil industry in the Middle East it may seem that the aviation industry in this region is stagnating. However, Dubai remains one of the top players in the industry and still attracts a significant amount of qualified specialists.

With headlines coming out about the latest political developments in the Middle East there was some anxiety about the future of the region’s aviation industry. Indeed, for the last few years the region had to overcome quite a few challenges from financial struggles to travel restrictions. Nonetheless, the news coming from the Dubai Air show paint a picture of strength and ambition.

The show kicked off with Emirates – one of the so called big three of the Middle East - announcing a deal with Boeing for 40 787-10 Dreamliners worth $15.1 billion. The majority of the aircraft will be used to further expand the airline destinations according to the company.

The major deal with Emirates was later followed by other record breaking deals at the Dubai Airshow with Airbus and Boeing. Middle Eastern low cost carrier Flydubai’s historic deal was a $27b deal with Boeing for a total of 225 737 MAX airplanes which is the biggest deal by the number of the aircraft in airline’s history.

Moreover, earlier this year, the Emirates also revealed plans for a closer partnership with Flydubai that will go beyond code-sharing to include integrated network collaboration with coordinated scheduling. The airlines are also hoping to increase their destinations to 240 by 2022.

Major deals in the Middle East were followed by the extension of Dubai Air show up to 2027. It extends the existing arrangement beyond 2019 to cover four additional Air shows in 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027.The new commercial agreement extending the organization and management of the Dubai Air show up to 2027 was signed by the representatives of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Airports, Emirates Airline & Group, Tarsus Group, Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East.

“While the Gulf region and its aviation industry had some hiccups along the way, these major deals show that the Middle East airlines are making a statement – they are moving forward. In spite of uncertainty in the region right now, Dubai is still one of the major competitors in the business considering that attendance of the Airshow grew 20% since 2015. They have no plans of stopping so it’s no wonder why specialists still flock to the Middle East for work,” says CEO Skaiste Knyzaite.

Indeed, in the Gulf region is still one of the strongest competitors in the aviation industry and specialists from all over the world still choose to work there. A new report states that Middle Eastern airlines will account for 10% of the global demand for pilots and 12% of demand for cabin crew over the next 20 years. Airlines like Flydubai are already gearing up for the demand according to Skaiste Knyzaite.

“Since we started our partnership with Flydubai earlier this fall, we already have two roadshows in the works for the company and the large number of applicants clearly show that Middle East is still attractive to specialists. We already have about 500 pilots in total that are waiting for their candidacy to be considered. So even though the region had some troubles in the past this hasn’t deterred people from working for Middle Eastern airlines,” shares the CEO.

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