FEATURES & ANALYSIS

European airports and tourist boards have taken sides with Gulf carriers as the battle of arguments among stakeholders in the debate on Open Skies and level of liberalisation of the European market rages on.

There is a significant growth of aviation subindustries in the region.

Why the region’s leading airlines – Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways – should contest the claims made by the ‘big three’ US airlines on the Open Skies agreements.

GCC airports are expanding to accommodate over 450 million passengers by 2020 thanks to ever-growing passenger and cargo traffic, boosted by strong tourism growth. Every major airport in the GCC region had record-breaking passenger traffic last year.

Corporate travel in the GCC is booming and airlines are going all out to make business travelers more comfortable.

The rapid growth of aviation industry has triggered numerous debates about the most suitable solution for airspace congestion. Many experts have suggested that an introduction of a single air management system like Europe’s Eurocontrol, will soon become inevitable, or the GCC could face a capacity crunch in its skies.

The rapid expansion of Gulf airlines and major jet purchases indicate the ever greater dominance of GCC carriers in established and emerging markets, posing a serious challenge to the European aviation market.

The battle over airport slots in Europe continues.

In a fierce competition among commercial airlines around the world, “the big three” from the Gulf are determined to conquer the celestial world by providing ever better, above premium, products for their passengers. With recent Etihad’s launch of first class apartment in the sky - The Residence – the pressure on carriers from U.S. and Europe to match the stakes has never been greater.
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