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 - 17:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Middle East Browse all
Perfection is synonymous with this stunning property on Dubai's Palm Island
- There are 10 restaurants and bars serving a variety of cuisine from all over the globe
- Boasting the Talise Ottoman Spa, where guests can indulge in a host of relaxing treatments and therapies
- 300 AED SPA credit per person per stay for the hotel SPA
- Unlimited access to Wild Wadi Park plus free shuttle service to a selection of Dubai Shopping Malls
Relax and unwind at this stunning resort without having to dig deep in your pocket.
- A fantastic all-inclusive programme with great the entertainment options including kids and teen club
- Luxury and comfortable accommodations with a spectacular views of the crystal blue Arabian Gulf
- Enjoy the secluded, glorious location on the beautiful, tranquil and pristine Marjan Island
Treat your family to an unforgettable Arabian adventure and make a splash at the world's most extravagant aquatic hotel!
- 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
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
Located on the man-made island of Al Marjan, Rixos Bab Al Bahr lies near Ras Al Khaimah. Everything from tourist...
Discover the beauty of Ras al Khaimah during your stay at the luxurious Doubletree by Hilton Resort and Spa Marjan...
One of the most sought-after locations in the magical city of Dubai is the artificial island of Jumeirah. Enjoy the...
The Gloria Hotel & Apartments is a stunning suite and apartment hotel that is ideally located in the heart of Dubai. It...
Experience luxurious accommodations, modern business and leisure amenities and an ideal location in the heart of Abu...
Rove City Centre is one of Dubai's newest hotels, offering a year-round outdoor pool and fitness centre. Conveniently...