Monday, January 7, 2013

2013 a Game Changer

The year 2012 had many interesting events but 2013 will see the impact of actions or inactions taken in 2012.
Things to look forward to will have an impact not only regionally in MENA but globally:
1. Dubai, the fourth busiest airport in the world is destined to become the second busiest in 2013 with the
    opening of Concourse 3, the only dedicated A380 terminal in the world by early 2013 and the relocation
    of the Qantas hub from Singapore to Dubai will help achieve this target.
2. Etihad will make a decision on investment in an Indian carrier in two (2) weeks time, regardless of the
    airline, probably Jet Airways. The decision will change the dynamics in the Indian airline market and inject
    a higher degree of competitiveness.
3. The fate of Kingfisher Airlines is still hanging after failing to get its flying permits reinstated. Bankers do not
    seem to agree with the proposed funding of the operation as put forward by the airline. Until the airline
    resumes operation, and there is a great possibility that it might not, there is a void in the market that is
    going to affect fares and costs.
4. Qatar Airways joining Oneworld, Emirates code sharing with Qantas a Oneworld member, Etihad's equity
    stake in Airberlin a Oneworld member and possibly Jet Airways which might end up as a Star Alliance
    member coupled with its extensive code share agreement with Air France-KLM a Sky Team member will
    change the dynamics of the three major alliances. How, no one seems to know. And if we add a possible
    merger of American  Airlines a Oneworld member with US Airways a Star Alliance member then the
    world alliance dynamics are anybody's guess.
5. The privatization of Saudi Arabian Airlines and the award of two (2) operating licences to Qatar Airways
    and Gulf Air will certainly change things in the Saudi market, injecting a new level of competitiveness.
    How this would affect the turnaround efforts of Gulf Air remains to be seen. The airline is changing and a
    lot hinges on who the new CEO will be.
6. Kuwait Airways is on its way to privatization, Iraqi Airways is on the rise and Royal Jordanian is hoping
    for a turnaround.
7. Low cost carriers in MENA are on the rise and they are expanding their market share putting additional
    pressures on legacy airlines.

These are events that we already know about, what other surprises 2013 brings, is anybody's guess.
We live and see.

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