TRAVEL GAZETTE – The global travel catering market is estimated to rise to 17.6 billion U.S. dollars by 2020 from the current 15 billion with the Middle East being expected to hold a “significant share,” according to a study released this week.
As the Middle East’s airlines are expected to carry more than 400 million passengers by 2020, compared to 144 million in 2012, “the region’s travel catering market is set to witness a major growth to meet the rising number of passengers,” the study released by the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo Middle East 2016 said.
The region has been witnessing new projects, massive expansion in the aviation sector and a further focus on tourism, which will further drive the demand for travel catering, it added.
Daniyal Qureshi, event director of Travel Catering Expo, said “there is a massive growth in airline activity in the region triggered by the rising numbers of passengers and initiatives to boost tourism, which will create a significant growth in the region’s travel catering requirements.”
According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), the share of international traffic carried by Middle East airlines increased to 14.2 percent and has surpassed North America.
IATA also said in a report released last month that the Middle Eastern carriers’ capacity grew 13.2 percent year on year.
The demand for travel catering in the region motivated Saudi Arabia’s national carrier Saudia to privatize its catering arm Saudi Airlines Catering Co. back in 2008 and to eventually list the firm on the Saudi Stock Exchange in 2012.