01 July 2010

The Economist on Aviation in the Gulf

On 3 June 2010 The Economist published a briefing on Aviation in the Gulf "Rulers of the new silk road" and related editorial "Super-duper-connectors from the Gulf", focussing on the rise of network airlines Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, and their hub airports.

These airlines and airports, as well as enjoying the active support of their governments, are just about in the perfect geographic location for serving international air transport needs with ultra-long-haul aircraft. This is illustrated in a range chart centred on Dubai for the Boeing B777 family of aircraft.

On 10 June 2010 Airbus announced that Emirates had ordered a further 32 Airbus A380 aircraft to take its total order to 90 of these giant airliners. Jon Ostrower, in his excellent weblog FlightBlogger, on 10 June 2010 commented: "With RPK - the measurement of actual passenger traffic - set to double in the next 20 years, makes you wonder whether or not Emirates is hoping to carry it all themselves." Jon was joking wasn't he?

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