Sunday, December 23, 2012

2013 Round The Corner

Having survived the Mayan Apocalypse and we are assured of a 2013, it is a good time to look
at what is happening in the MENA region now and what will shape events in 2013.

1. Australian Regulators tentatively approved the Emirates/Qantas agreement to relocate the Qantas
    Singapore hub to Dubai and code share.

2. Etihad is rumored to be looking at purchasing 49% of Kingfisher or maybe 24% of Jet Airways, either
    way it is looking for big time expansion in India.

3. Qatar Airways joined Oneworld and started operating the B787.

4. Saudi Arabia's GACA postponed the third airline license until 2013. However, it is reported that domestic
    fares will rise by 10% in 2013. This has been a sticking point with the new entrants.

5. The CEO of Gulf Air will be leaving by the end of the month and the Deputy CEO has been appointed
    acting CEO, until such time the Board decides on a permanent replacement. He is expected to be a
    Bahrain national. The last Gulf Air PCE from Bahrain was Mr. Ibrahim Al Hamar now Managing Director
    of Bahrain Air who was replaced by James Hogan. The airline scaled down their B787 and converted the
    A330 orders into A320s.

6. Iraqi Airways took delivery of its first A330-200 and B737-800. Now that the dispute with Kuwait
    Airways over damages resulting from the first Gulf War in 1990 has been settled, Iraqi Airways is
    expected to expand.

7. The privatisation of Kuwait Airways has been launched with the formation of a company to manage the
    airlines fleet renewal and staff issues. Certainly, the resolution of the dispute with Iraq will help matters
    specially that the airline will get half of the award as a cash infusion ($250 millions).

8. Royal Jordanian is counting down towards its 50th anniversary and took delivery of the last A320 in its
    fleet renewal plan.

Of course there are many many other exciting stories about the airlines of the region that will certainly unfold in 2013.

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