Jetrader - November/December 2012 - (Page 13)

State of the Regions: Middle East Middle East Aviation Thrives Despite Political Turmoil By Philip Butterworth-Hayes There are three drivers for growth in the Middle East air transport sector and all are positive, though with different degrees of pace. The long-haul market, based on the strategies of Gulf-based carriers to turn their hub airports into global connection points, has been the main driver for growth in the region over the last decade and it continues to thrive. “The Middle East remains at the vanguard of long-haul air traffic growth globally,” according to Rob Shaw, director of analytics at London-based airline analysts OAG. “While this expansion in part reflects the ambitious growth targets of the superconnector airlines — Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways — airport infrastructure investments across the region continue to make the Middle East attractive to other long-haul carriers.” But the arrival of Airbus A380 with Emirates, which has ordered 90 of the type, is a major factor in the gradual slow-down in the growth rate of aircraft movements in the region, as strong demand for seats is being met by bigger, rather than more numerous, aircraft. Traffic figures for 2011 compiled by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) (see Chart 1: Middle East Airline Aircraft Movements) suggest that aircraft movements throughout the Middle East rose by just 2.3 percent in 2012 over 2011, despite continuing strong demand for passenger travel. Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways are between them likely to take delivery of around 57 aircraft this year from Airbus and Boeing. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recorded passenger traffic growth among Middle East scheduled airlines of a phenomenal 17.9 percent for the 12 month period ending June 2012 over the same period ending June 2011, by far and away the strongest growth rate of any of the world’s regions. IATA estimates that in 2011 Middle East carriers made a combined profit of around $1 billion. It is likely 2012 will also be profitable though the high oil price will depress many figures. Evolution of Low-Cost Carriers The second driver is the low-cost carrier (LCC) sector fueled by increasingly liberalized air transport policies among oil-rich Arab states. Carriers such as Sharjah-based Air Arabia, flydubai, NasAir (Saudi Arabia) and Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways have pioneered the concept, which is now in the second stage of evolution with carriers such as RAKAirways (Ras Al Khaimah) and Bahrain Air offering a service closer to traditional full-fare airlines. But unlike lowfare carriers in North America, Europe and Chart 1: Middle East Airline Aircraft Movements Cargo and passenger numbers in 2011 Total Aircraft Movements 2,046,191 Source: ICAO % Change 2.3 Total passengers 221,889,577 % Change 7.7 Total Cargo 5,937,043 % Change 1.2 Jetrader 13 http://www.naylornetwork.com/ist-nxt/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Jetrader - November/December 2012

A Message from the President
Calendar/News
Q&A: Peter Barrett
ISTAT Europe 2012
State of the Regions: Middle East
A Day at the Races
Appraisers Seek to Improve Knowledge Base
Aircraft Appraisals
ISTAT Foundation
Advertiser.com/Advertiser Index

Jetrader - November/December 2012

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