The number of airlines operating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) registered with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority totalled 768 operators with 595 aircraft registered aircraft, according to UAE General Civil Aviation Authority Director General Saif Al Suwaidi. During the current year 83 aircraft have been registered. While the total for 2010 was 512 aircraft and 409 for 2009. The majority of which are operated by Emirates, Etihad Airways, Air Arabia, Fly Dubai and RAK Airways.
The statistics indicate the number of airline personnel working for the national airlines totalled 8,184 cockpit crew, 3,093 maintenance engineers, and 31,268 cabin crew.
The UAE authorities banned 10 foreign air operators (permitting only two this year), compared to banning 19 in 2010 and 22 n 2009, bringing the number of operators banned 51 air operators during the past three years.
It suspended the work of 13 non-local pilots, engineers and air traffic controllers this year, compared with 14 last year, bringing the number suspended to 27 people during the past two years.
Al Suwaidi emphasized the UAE has been transformed into a regional hub and leader in the airline industry globally, attracting talent worldwide. While there are many challenges, most notably the failure to meet the need of recruiting locally trained staff based on operational cost, security and integrity factors of this sector. Al Suwaidi mentioned there is a complete absence of any clear policy or legislation despite the sensitivity of the sole dependence on foreign labor.