Air Transport World

Big 10: 10th running of Dubai Airshow coincides with industry-leading traffic growth for the region's airlines.(AIRSHOW)

The 10th anniversar y Dubai Airshow (Nov. 11-15) occurs against a backdrop of a remarkable period of growth for airlines and airports in the region (see article, p. 26) that only has accelerated since the 2005 event was held.

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Few of the carriers are making any money yet, but that is not really the point. In fact, earnings have taken a back seat to fleet expansion and route development, something that airline chiefs are not afraid to state publicly. Sustained in large part by the oil riches flowing into the treasuries of the mostly state owners of Arab aviation assets in the region and encouraged by the example of highly profitable Emirates, carriers such as Etihad and Qatar Airways are determined to follow a similar flight path while smaller ones like Oman Air aim to play a much larger role in future (see article, p. 39).

A recent report from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation entitled "Middle East Aviation Outlook" paints a glowing picture of the region's air transport future. It notes that the Middle East was the fastest-growing region for passenger and cargo traffic last year, according to IATA, with RPKs and FTKs up 15. …

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