Middle East giants prepare 21 new routes in 2014
The big three Middle Eastern airlines Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways plan a total of 21 new routes for 2014, seven of which are to Europe, six to the USA, three each in Asia and the Middle East, and two in Africa, anna.aero reports.
There are size differences between the three airlines, with Emirates operating 27% more flights than Qatar Airways and 115% more flights than Etihad Airways in April 2014. In terms of weekly seats, Emirates has an even greater advantage over Qatar Airways, at 116%, and 278% over Etihad, due to its widebody fleet. In terms of available seat kilometres, this increases to 168% and 276%, respectively.
However, in terms of additional destinations offered, Qatar Airways and Emirates have been evenly matched since 2011.
While Etihad has an intense focus on expanding its Asian network, Emirates and Qatar Airways dominate in Europe. Etihad’s strategy is to invest in European airlines, such as airberlin, Air Serbia and the creation of Etihad Regional with Swiss partner Darwin Airline. Emirates has a narrow lead over Qatar Airways in Europe, adding Stockholm Arlanda and Warsaw Chopin in 2013.
This will continue to be the case in 2014. While Qatar will open routes to Edinburgh, Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen and Larnaca this summer season, Emirates is planning Rome Fiumicino, Yerevan and Zurich.
[image courtesy Emirates]