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Airlines in the Gulf - October 2014

“Looking at the coming decade, it appears probable that the frenetic pace of growth of the MEB3 [Middle East Big 3] has reached its limits, which will doubtless oblige the major full-service Gulf carriers to seek more extensive collaboration with other airlines. Meanwhile, the region’s LCC sector is just getting ready to take off on a major growth spurt, as it moves to fill the vacuum for value-for-money air transport services in the region.”

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Which Gulf aviation market has the best growth prospects and why?
  • Are there too many airlines in the region?
  • Will LCCs start to impinge on the business of the major full-service airlines in the region?
  • What could put an end to the rapid growth of the big three Gulf carriers (Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways)?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

    • Data Sources

      • Overview

          • Figure 1: Forecasted spending on travel & tourism by GCC country & type of expenditure (nominal US$bn), 2013-20
          • Figure 2: Forecasted incoming receipts by GCC country (in nominal US$bn), 2013-20
          • Figure 3: Trend in aviation metrics, year-on-year % change, May 2014 & year-to-date May 2014
      • International Expansion of the Majors

          • Figure 4: New routes for Emirates, Etihad Airways & Qatar Airways, 2014
          • Figure 5: Development of non-stop routes & departures for Emirates, Qatar Airways & Etihad from their main hubs, August 2013 & August 2014
          • Figure 6: Non-stop routes from main hubs added by Emirates, Etihad & Qatar Airways over the year August 2013 to August 2014
        • Qatar Airways and Emirates compete for destinations
          • Etihad focuses on Asia
            • Emirates and Qatar Airways dominate in Europe
              • Qatar Airways dominates Middle East
                • African networks expanding slowly
                  • US targeted for growth
                  • Airline Profiles

                      • Air Arabia
                        • Figure 7: Trend in Air Arabia’s aviation metrics, 2004-13
                      • Fleet
                        • Figure 8: Air Arabia's fleet, July 2014
                      • A new hub in Ras Al Khaimah
                        • Figure 9: Routes from the new Ras Al Khaimah (RKT) hub, May 2014
                      • Emirates
                        • Figure 10: Trend in Emirates’ aviation metrics, FY/2004-05–FY/2013-14
                      • 26 years of profitable operations
                        • Figure 11: Geographical breakdown of Emirates Group revenue*, 2012-14
                        • Figure 12: Revenue in 2013-14 & 2012-13
                      • Airline results
                        • A380 operations
                          • Aircraft financing
                            • Traveller amenities
                              • Emirates SkyCargo
                                • Destination and leisure management
                                  • Dnata performance
                                    • Emirates A380 network now includes Frankfurt
                                      • Massive fleet expansion
                                        • The largest superjumbo operator in the world
                                          • Figure 13: Emirates' fleet, 2014
                                        • Order for 70 Airbus A350s cancelled
                                          • Etihad Airways
                                            • Figure 14: Trend in number of destinations served by Etihad, 2004-14
                                          • Financial performance
                                            • Partnerships boost results
                                              • Etihad Regional
                                                • Etihad takes control of Alitalia
                                                  • Virgin Australia stake increased
                                                    • Risk reduction through hedging
                                                      • Financing sources
                                                        • Fleet
                                                          • Figure 15: Growth of Etihad’s fleet, 2003-14
                                                          • Figure 16: Etihad Airways’ fleet, August 2014
                                                        • New aircraft orders
                                                          • Flydubai
                                                            • 70 destinations in first five years
                                                              • Saudi Arabia the leading destination
                                                                • Figure 17: Flydubai's top 12 destinations for monthly departures from Dubai International Airport, 2013 & 2014
                                                              • Fleet
                                                                • Figure 18: Flydubai's fleet, July 2014
                                                              • Flynas
                                                                • Figure 19: Flynas’ fleet, August 2014
                                                              • Airbus A350 to be added in the future
                                                                • Expanding services for Muslim pilgrims
                                                                  • Manchester to Jeddah service cancelled
                                                                    • Gulf Air
                                                                      • Restructuring reduced losses
                                                                        • Fleet
                                                                          • Figure 20: Gulf Air’s fleet, April 2014
                                                                        • Jazeera Airways
                                                                          • Rebounding profitability
                                                                            • Fleet
                                                                              • Kuwait Airways
                                                                                • Fleet
                                                                                  • Figure 21: Kuwait Airways’ fleet, April 2014
                                                                                • Maximus Air
                                                                                  • Figure 22: Maximus’ fleet, August 2014
                                                                                • Oman Air
                                                                                  • Destinations
                                                                                    • Fleet
                                                                                      • Figure 23: Oman Air's fleet, 2014
                                                                                    • Qatar Airways
                                                                                      • Fleet
                                                                                        • Figure 24: Qatar Airways fleet*, July 2014
                                                                                      • Rotana Jet
                                                                                        • Fleet
                                                                                          • Figure 25: Rotana Jet's fleet, 2014
                                                                                        • Saudia
                                                                                          • Fleet
                                                                                            • Figure 26: Saudia's fleet, 2014
                                                                                        • What Next?

                                                                                            • MEB3 growth model reaching its limits?
                                                                                              • Question of alliances
                                                                                                • Rise of LCCs

                                                                                                Airlines in the Gulf - October 2014

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