Budget airlines are the next big break for MENA

Published September 2nd, 2008 - 01:00 GMT

The current global turmoil in the airline industry offers yet another opportunity for regional carriers to set themselves up to compete on the world stage. Many of them are today looking to expand as quickly as they can and to create new revenue streams in the hope of taking up the slack left by downsizing rivals and positioning the region as a global aviation crossroads. One such opportunity is expanding into the Low Cost Carriers area which, many of the bigger regional and international players, believe is their next big break. 


Leaders of regional and international Low Cost Carriers will be discussing these opportunities and issues at their first ever convention to be held in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi from 3-5 November 2008 at the Intercontinental Al-Ain Resort. The three-day event “Low Cost Airlines World MENA” organised by Terrapinn, one of the world's leading business media companies,  will highlight the global low cost airline revolution, myths and reality surrounding the industry and constant evolution of the its business model.

Khalifa Al Mazrouei, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports Company, Mr Peter Harbison, Executive Chairman of Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, will join more than 20 chairmen and CEOs from the region and around the world who meet for the first time to discuss the future of the LCCs industry. These include, amongst others, the CEOs or chairmen of: Jazeera Airways, Silver Air, Air Arabia, Sama, Jetlite, Abu Dhabi Airports Company, Waha Leasing, Yi Fei Airlines, Clickair, National Air Services, Kuwait National Airways, Transworld Aviation and Jet4you. The conference will be attended by 200 delegates from the Middle East, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.


“In today’s business climate, while the world’s legacy airlines are feeling the strain of rising fuel prices, the MENA airlines have positioned themselves at the forefront of the world’s aviation market,” says Symon Rubens, Managing Director, Terrapinn Middle East, “This is the right time to shed light on the Low Cost segment that has buoyed the whole industry through its solid performance and growth.”


This year, the global airline industry is expected to record a loss of US$6bn at a time when its regional counterpart is booming, with regional carriers currently purchasing new-generation aircraft to allow them to leverage 80% of the world’s most attractive markets. In 2007, regional carriers recorded a growth in passenger numbers of 18.8%, more than double the global average rate of 7.5%. With unparalleled investment in airport expansions across the Middle East, said to top the US$ 54 billion mark, the industry’s growth is expected to continue, and with it the Low Cost Carriers’ market. 


“There is a surge in interest and investment in the Low Cost Airlines industry attested by the legacy carriers unveiling plans to launch low cost subsidiaries. Also, the Middle East is announcing new airlines, continuous profits and aircraft orders,” explains Symon Rubens. “This conference will bring together the largest congregation of decision-makers from Low Cost Airlines, regulatory authorities and investors to discuss the future prospects of the industry and the pivotal role the Middle East and North Africa can play in the success of this highly competitive industry.”


“Low Cost Airlines World MENA” conference will provide an overview of the evolution of the low cost airline business model, explore maximiation of revenue from ancillary products and in-flight services, look at ways to develop viable and lucrative new routes and to enter new markets through partnerships and acquisitions.

© 2008 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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