Gulf airlines say its youth not state aid which enables them to offer cheap flights
Gulf carriers such as Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways which provide cheap flights across the Middle East say that the reason behind their success and purchase of 300 planes over the last three years is down to their youth, not state aid.
After purchasing nearly 300 planes worth $70 billion over the last three years, Gulf carriers, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Emirates, say that their success in providing cheap flights in comparison to their western rivals has been down to their youth and not state aid.
The recent expansion of the three airlines has angered the Group Executive Officer of Air France-KLM, Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, who believes that Emirates has 3.5 billion Euros less outgoings a year because it is owned by the state of Dubai.
CEO of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, recently stated: "I've got one secret weapon and it's that I'm not a legacy carrier. If these chaps had been setting up an airline in the last seven years they'd be doing exactly what I am."
Air France said that the state-paid Gulf carriers have fewer outgoings than western airlines including lower taxes, airport charges and social levies, but the three Gulf airlines have hit back saying that they pay the same fees as older airline but just a lower rate because they are new to the market.
Emirates was founded 25 years ago by the Dubai government who gave a cash injection of $10 million but "not a penny since, contrary to what they're all saying," according to Tim Clark, the airline's president.
Western airlines are concerned that their rivals are providing more cheap flights for travellers because they are using more fuel-efficient aircraft such as Airbus A380 super jumbos.
Chris Logan, an analyst at Echelon Research in London, said: "If you're going between the U.S. and Asia you can start connecting through the Middle East and that's certainly a concern to the big European transfer carriers.
"And when you begin with a clean sheet of paper you don't have the heavily unionized workforces and overstaffing of the legacy carriers. The Gulf operators are effectively long-haul low cost airlines."
CEO of Oman Air, Peter Hill says that Middle Eastern operators show a greater flair for quality and ease of travel for travellers taking Oman holidays or Dubai holidays. He said: "It's all about commitment. You don't see the same connectivity, in-flight entertainment and investment in seats among European carriers."
The Gulf airlines also said that it was a myth that because of their region's oil wealth they automatically have lower fuel bills.
Etihad, the airline which is a popular choice of carrier for Abu Dhabi holidays, buys kerosene on international markets and often pays more in Abu Dhabi that at other airports.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 20:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Middle East Browse all
A resort where there is something for everyone
- FAMILY PACKAGES for a family of 2 adults & 2 kids below 12
- A fantastic all-inclusive programme with great the entertainment options including kids and teen club
- up to 2 children eat and stay for free
Enjoy a varied selection of fun activities and evening entertainment at an outstandingly beautiful beach and golf resort.
- Luxuriate at the Spa and select from an array of water sports while children have fun at the Kids' Club
- Footsteps from the silky sands of Ras Al Khaimah's coastline
- Up to 2 children eat and stay for free!
Prepare to be wowed and dazzled by mystical encounters, ancient cities, marvellous wonders and unique sites as you discover the real and magical Jordan.
- Enjoy a stop-off at Mount Nebo where Prophet Moses viewed the Promised Land
- Visit the Dead Sea & enjoy a drive along the 2000-year-old Kings Highway
- Experience Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recently voted as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World
Treat your family to an unforgettable Arabian adventure and make a splash at the world's most extravagant aquatic hotel!
- Exciting marine and entertainment attractions that the whole family can enjoy
- Free Half Board with a huge range of dining options
- Free access to Aquaventure and Lost Chambers
- Experience the culinary gourmet adventure with over 22 world-class restaurants, lounges and bars including the Michelin star restaurant Nobu
Located on the man-made island of Al Marjan, Rixos Bab Al Bahr lies near Ras Al Khaimah. Everything from tourist...
Enjoy the stretches of sand and unlimited sunshine available here as you savour the comforts of Atlantis, The Palm. One...
Discover the beauty of Ras al Khaimah during your stay at the luxurious Doubletree by Hilton Resort and Spa Marjan...
Zabeel House Mini by Jumeirah is a playful, pocket friendly hotel high on design and low on complexity. Perfectly...
Situated right at the heart of the Port Rashid district, the Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Al Mina sits ideally between the...
Located in Deira, within old Dubai, the Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Al Muraqabat offers a prime opportunity to explore the...