'Hybrid' business models tout low-cost, premium products for ME airlines

Published May 7th, 2015 - 07:01 GMT

More and more airlines in the Middle East will launch under a low-cost business model, a senior executive from US aircraft manufacturer Boeing said in Dubai on Monday.

“In the context of this region you’re going to see more low cost business models jumping up,” Marty Bentrott, vice president — sales, Middle East, Russia & Central Asia at Boeing Co., said during a seminar session at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM).

The Middle East has seen the launch of a number of low cost airlines; however, many have adopted hybrid models by introducing premium products that are more commonly associated with full service carriers. Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways offers business class and includes checked-in luggage and meals with the ticket. Both flydubai and Saudi Arabia’s flynas offer business class. Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia, the UAE’s only listed airline, is believed to be the only pure low-cost airline operating in the region.

“I think there is opportunity here given the dimensional travel of these large hubs that move people here to Dubai, here to Doha or to Abu Dhabi and then move them to other destinations,” Bentrott said. “There is room for more of the low cost business model here.”

By Alexander Cornwell

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