By Shane McGinley
Mideast airlines to add 83 new aircraft in 2010, another 50 in 2011 - UBS.
While Europe will remain the biggest player for Middle East airlines this year, the Americas and Africa will see stronger growth in passenger traffic, according to a new report released on Tuesday by investment bank UBS.
The report said that Middle East carriers account for eight percent of global traffic and the region is well placed to attract more long haul stopover traffic as it is located less than 8,340km from 86 percent of the world’s total population.
This year, Middle East carriers will add 83 new aircraft to their fleets and 50 next year, which will represent 8.3 percent and 4.9 percent of deliveries worldwide.
Europe is expected to be the source of the majority of this new capacity, as Middle East airlines account for 36 percent of traffic flow to and from Europe.
However, while Europe will continue to dominate in terms of market size, other markets such as the Americas and Africa will see stronger growth this year, the UBS report forecast.
Traffic between the Middle East and Europe is believed to have grown 7.1 percent in the second quarter of this year, while capacity growth to Asia was up by sixteen percent, the Americas by ten percent and Africa by thirteen percent.
In terms of routes, the Dubai-London route generates the most traffic and last year represented seventeen percent of the combined capacity of all the top twenty international routes from the Middle East.
The Dubai-London route accounted for an average of 1,141 flights per week last year. The other top five routes in the region were Dubai-Singapore, Dubai-New York, Dubai-Bangkok, Dubai-Johannesburg and Doha-London.
The report added that “European flag carriers will likely continue to face a Middle East threat, although the trend will probably be more benign… but we see Asia and the Americas as under greater near-term threat.”
The global airlines identified as likely to be most impacted by the growth in the Middle East include: Lufthansa, Iberia, Air France, Singapore Airlines and Qantas. In the US, carriers Delta and United Airlines are likely to be impacted, but the report said this is not forecast to be very severe as the Middle East currently only accounts for up to three percent of traffic from the US.