Report: Growing U.S.-U.A.E. Commercial Aviation Relationship Supports 100,000 American Jobs; Contributes Over $16 Billion to U.S. Economy

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182 nonstop flights from nine U.S. gateways expected to carry 2.4 million passengers in 2013; highlighting the U.A.E.’s emergence as a regional hub for commerce and transportation - according to a new U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council report.

A new report, released today by the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, finds that the increased nonstop commercial airline service between the United Arab Emirates and United States is the fastest growing bilateral aviation relationship in the world. According to the report, flights between the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and United States (U.S.) increased 1,500 percent since 2004. This increase is fueled by the rapid growth of the U.A.E.’s international airlines, Emirates and Etihad Airways, and new nonstop flights from U.S. cities to Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The report, “U.S.-U.A.E. Commercial Aviation: Taking Flight,” analyzes the economic impact of the bilateral commercial aviation relationship between the two countries. The report found that in 2012 alone, Emirates and Etihad Airways’ procurement of American-made commercial aircraft and parts in tandem with the launch of nonstop routes to and from U.S. cities, contributed more than $16 billion to the U.S. economy and supported approximately 100,000 jobs.

“Since the first non-stop flight between the U.S. and U.A.E. took off from Dubai for New York’s JFK airport in 2004, the commercial aviation relationship has played a key role in significantly boosting bilateral trade and investment between the two countries,” said U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council President Danny Sebright. “Boeing sells more passenger aircraft to the U.A.E.'s airlines than to any other customer. In 2012, airline(r) exports to the U.A.E. from the U.S. sustained over 38,000 jobs, and current orders from U.A.E. airlines will over time support more than 200,000 high-paying US manufacturing jobs.”

U.A.E. airlines now fly nonstop between eight U.S. gateways: New York City, Washington, DC, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. When combined with the U.S. carriers, United and Delta— which offers nonstop service from Atlanta to Dubai—, there are now 182 nonstop flights each week between the U.S. and U.A.E. In 2013, these flights are expected to carry 2.4 million passengers between the U.A.E. and U.S.

Significantly, aviation also represents the single biggest component of the overall U.S.-U.A.E. trade relationship, which last year saw exports from the U.S. to the U.A.E. increase to a record $22.57 billion. The U.A.E. is the largest destination for US exports in the entire Middle East North Africa (MENA) region — a position it has held since 2009.

According to the report, the four airlines that offer nonstop flights between the U.S. and U.A.E. helped generate more than $5.8 billion in positive economic benefit in 2012 (combining overseas visitor expenditure and airline impact, such as purchases, and indirect and induced effects). At the nine U.S. gateways, each nonstop flight to the U.A.E. has been calculated to generate approximately 200 airport jobs and $80 million in annual economic activity.

The report cites numerous factors that are contributing to the growth of this bilateral aviation relationship. Among them is the U.A.E.’s emergence as the Middle East’s center for business and commerce, a deepening U.S.-U.A.E. bilateral relationship, and the development of the U.A.E.’s two international airports, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as key connecting hubs.

“The U.A.E. is the new geographic crossroads of the world, between east and west, and north and south,” said Sebright. “Abu Dhabi and Dubai are perfectly situated to serve as connecting hubs for traffic moving between the Americas and Europe to Asia, Africa and the Indian subcontinent. About 60 percent of the world’s population lives within six flying hours of the U.A.E.”

The full report can be downloaded here:

About the Report:

The “U.S.-U.A.E. Commercial Aviation: Taking Flight” report examines key developments and trends supporting rapid growth in U.S.-U.A.E. trade and investment in and around the commercial aviation sector, especially over the last decade. The report places its findings into the context of the overall U.S.-U.A.E. trade and commercial relationship and broader international trade patterns prevalent in the global marketplace. The report’s author, Rob Britton, is a 44 year veteran of the airline industry, having spent 22 years with American Airlines in a variety of leadership roles in marketing, international affairs, corporate communications, and operations. He currently lectures annually at more than 25 business schools worldwide, including Kellogg, Wharton, and the London Business School. He has published dozens of articles in prominent newspapers and magazines, travel-industry publications, and academic journals.

About the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council:

The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council is a progressive business advocacy organization solely committed to the advancement of the trade and commercial relationship between the United States and the United Arab Emirates. The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council provides its diverse membership unparalleled access to senior decision makers in business and government in the U.A.E. and in the U.S. The Business Council actively works to ensure that the U.S. and U.A.E. remain attractive destinations for foreign direct investment by conducting effective policy advocacy, undertaking various trade promotion initiatives, providing ongoing updates on the business climate in both countries, and helping develop strategic relationships between U.S. and U.A.E. business and government officials.

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Brian Principato
U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council
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