New markets are emerging as global economy evolves
The world’s air travel map is being redrawn, as growth rates slow in traditional markets and continue to surge in evolving economies including India, Africa and Latin America.
This was the message of Etihad Airways’ president and CEO James Hogan, to coincide with the revelation this week that the UAE airline was making a 24% “strategic equity investment” in India’s second biggest airline, Jet Airways.
Speaking in Amsterdam at a lecture to aviation industry executives and policymakers, Hogan stressed that the major shift occurring in the global economy was significantly impacting the air transport industry, requiring airlines to reshape their networks and enter new partnerships in order to remain competitive.
“Legacy markets are growing, but at a slower pace. Emerging markets are surging,” he said. “Traffic patterns and demographics are changing. Traditional air transport hubs are declining in prominence, with growth constrained by inadequate infrastructure and ingrained political resistance to change.”
He called the Arabian Gulf “the geographic centre of the world”, evolving as “the global centre of the air transport industry, with the number of passengers passing through Gulf hubs outstripping industry growth rates.”
[photo courtesy India Tourism Bureau]