Friday, August 31, 2012

MENA Airlines... Are Things Looking Up?

Notwithstanding, the violence in Syria and the potential political and security fallout into neighboring countries,  Europe in a near meltdown, The BRIC economies slowing down and the USA in a slow recovery, 2012 has been a year of recovery for the MENA airlines. 

H1 results for the region's airlines and airports have been on the whole positive with double digit growth. The disruptive effects of the Arab Spring have somewhat subsided at the same time as fuel prices went down.

Tourist and business flow into the region and within the region is on the increase.

Passenger traffic increased in 2012 H1 is as follows:
Dubai 14 %, Abu Dhabi 22.8 %, Ras Al Khaimah 67%, Amman 18.4%, Bahrain 13%, Beirut 8.88% , Doha 22%, Muscat 20%, Cairo traffic is back at pre 2011 figures and Dammam 16.2%. 

The airlines drove that traffic with higher passenger loads and improved revenues. Passenger loads for H1 of 2012 were as follows:
Air Arabia 11%, Etihad 27%, Gulf Air 13%, Royal Jordanian 26% (Q1), Oman Air 19%,

IATA in its July 2012 Global Traffic Results showed the Middle East carriers posting an 11.2% increase year on year against a 6.5% global growth (read more)

The airlines followed the well tested and proven policy, the balanced approach of expansion and improved efficiencies and productivity (aka cost cutting)

Airlines expanded their code sharing activities;  GF and RJ on Amman - Bahrain and points beyond, RJ and UL on Amman - Colombo and points beyond. Of course, new routes were announced and frequencies increased.

Etihad continued its policy of expansion through acquisition by increasing its share in Virgin Australia to 10% and a small stake in Aer Lingus (3%) and code share agreements. Even, Emirates is reported in code share discussions with Qantas.

Air Arabia has signed an agreement with Oman Tourist Authority to promote Salalah, RAK Airways signed an agreement for 7000 tourists between. Moscow and Ras Al Khaimah.

In the meantime, the airlines continued taking delivery of aircraft driving the fleet age down and improving fuel efficiencies.

All this might sound a tad boring and repetitious, never mind all that, success and recovery are always amazing.

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