The ME3 in 10-15 years time.

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This topic contains 51 replies, has 25 voices, and was last updated by  AMcWhirter 28 Apr 2018
at 11:27

Viewing 7 posts - 46 through 52 (of 52 total)

  • transtraxman

    I thought that Qatar´s holding in IAG is now 20% not 10%.

    IAG, Latam, now Cathay Pacific as well as Meridiana – it seems that Qatar is going down the road laid out by Etihad (but in a more logical way). Royal Air Maroc has also been mentioned – which is a logical link-up (culturally as well as strategically).

    If it brings together these “oneworld” members all to the good. This is especially so since both Cathay Pacific has gone its own way ever since joining “oneworld”, and Qantas has looked for allies elsewhere. Maybe some logic might well be brought back to “oneworld” and its members. However, IMHO there seems to be a long way to go, with a lot of prejudices and reticences to be overcome.


    It’s interesting this thread was started a year ago. So now we see on BT’s front page that Qatar is set to announce a substantial loss. Whilst Qatar is attributing this to the political fallout in the middle east I feel a large degree is also down to over expansion.

    We have Emirates also reducing service to the USA as well as reducing crew complements onboard.

    And Etihad is cut cut cutting away as well as abandoning it’s ideal of forming it’s own Etihad Alliance by investing in foreign carriers.

    Where will it end? I read an interesting article in the most recent edition of the Economist about how it is not the european or US carriers that are the greatest threat to the ME3 but the Chinese carriers which are attempting to basically do what the ME3 do – carry transit passengers from east to west via their chinese hubs. The article states that since China has introduced the Visa free transit stays transit traffic is growing hugely for the Chinese Airlines.

    But I can’t help thinking – from the outset was a large 777-300 from DXB to Panama ever going to be sustainable? Or 3 x A380’s from MAN – DXB? We ALL know that any airline can fill a plane. But the aim of the game is to make a profit in filling those seats.

    Surely the ME3 cannot continue as they are and things will need to change? One of them may even become a shadow of its former self (most people hedge their bets on EK and EY forming some kind of merge or alliance). The ME3 were predicting all sorts of things five or ten years ago. European and US airlines would go out of business by the plenty as they were unable to compete with the ME3 and their lower fares and superior offerings. And yet, this hasn’t happened. In fact on the whole airlines in the US and europe have had a period of great profitability and expansion.

    Will be interesting to see how this plays out.


    @rfeguson – I wish to disagree with you on the situation with QR. Their expansion is, or seems to be much more sensible and controlled than say EK as they have variable sized aircraft to start routes, and then gradually increase as pax numbers improve. For example it was only a few years ago that QR were running A319’s up to Stockholm, and now I believe they have 2 x B788’s daily. Just more recently, Helsinki started as an A320 1 x daily, and now QR has added an A333 to that route in addition to the A320 daily. In your words a B777-300 to Panama is too big, because they have nothing smaller, maybe a few B777-200LR’s. So EK cannot reduce costs on a route.

    However, above all what has massacred the profits of QR, and I for one used them very regularly from AUH through to many stations in Europe, is the blockage by several gulf states. For example QR had 17 flights daily from DXB and not all minibuses, some were B788’s and B777’s, 7 or 8 daily flights from AUH including also B788 and B777 metal, another 3 or 4 minibuses from DWC, some more from SHJ and even almost a daily routing from RKT, so that’s approx 35 daily flights from UAE alone that have been blocked, and again from my observations, with good loads, so lets say with a 75% seat occupancy, and that is nearly 4000 pax per day lost from UAE alone, add KSA and BAH to this and I am sure they have lost maybe upwards of 10,000 pax per day.

    Add to this, to further increase their costs, they are also not even allowed to fly through UAE, KSA or BAH (Egypt too) airspace, so their routings are substantially longer and fuel load has substantially increased.

    Now to your bemusing of EK and EY soon having an allegiance, and without me writing here, because I cannot, please put the last subject into the context of EK and especially EY’s troubles. EY and Mr Hogan have made some disastrous mistakes, starting with changing the colour scheme from the previous rather imperious tail-scheme to this media dreamers rubbish (just Air Croatia with a colour change) that they have now – facets of the desert indeed! The airlines they bought were ‘basket cases’ in the first place, I mean AZ, whom have lost money every year since WW-2, I think, and as for Air Seychelles, they had 5 dilapidated B76ers that were long past their sell-by date. Air Serbia? Anyway they can expand beyond being a small European regional? I don’t believe so. Darwin Etihad regional?, They were flying for AZ, so same s*%7t as above, nothing ever works with AZ – literally!

    Also, EK and EY are already the same and have been since 2008 or so.


    I agree with much of what you say alainboy56.

    I’ve never understood the business sense of EK having a fixation on huge aircraft and never able to ‘right size’ a particular market with less capacity. I don’t know, maybe it’s a case of ‘mine is bigger that yours’ in the region. And I think we’ll see a big change when their 787’s are in operation.

    Etihad will always have the trouble of being an hour down the road from their bigger longer established sister.

    And then there is Qatar. Now I work for a legacy carrier so some may think i’m rubbing my hands in glee at their financial misfortune. Not at all. Quite the opposite actually. I hope hope hope that they continue as they are.

    Whilst I don’t doubt for a second that the political issues with Qatar and other arab nations have hit it hard, surely it’s becoming an issue of supply and demand in the middle east too?

    Living in europe I can be sure of three things EVERY year travel related – That Air France or Alitalia will have Industrial Action of some sort. That i’ll be able to travel to Australia from europe in Business Class with QR for <£1400 and that i’ll be able to travel from europe to SE Asia for less than £900. It’s been the same every year for the past four years and I can pretty much thank QR for my OneWorld Emerald status. And then I look at the fare breakdown and see that c£700 of my fare to OZ is in taxes and fees of some sort. So, essentially they are flying me from (say) Stockholm – Doha – Sydney – Doha – Stockholm for a fare of £600. You board the brand new/new-ish jets (imagine the lease fees on these), tended to by a far better crew:passenger ratio than other airlines, utilise the amazing lounge in DOH, continue on with the same to Australia enjoying the incredible food and drink (I imagine their catering budget per J class passenger is triple that of say BA). Leave Sydney, use the QF First lounge (the attendant there told me they bill OW partner airlines £80 per passenger to use it) and the same on the return. I notice most of my fellow passengers are european leisure travellers and probably also took advantage of a bargain. And what is different about Qatars sales – they seem to go on forever. You can guarantee that at least three times a year they will have a sale which will at some point cover every month of the year and almost every day. How can this be sustainable long term?

    I also agree that their expansion has been more measured than EK. But it is still aggressive. They are launching flight to Mykonos from Doha! Which I find quite amusing (Doha to a gay mecca of a holiday destination). Their expansion also hasn’t panned out too well. Routes to Osaka, Stavanger (!!), Newark terminated.


    Emirates has seen the error of its ways hence its link with Flydubai.

    The latter has a number of long-range B737 MAX8 aircraft on order which, if they operate on behalf of Emirates, will be cheaper to fill and operate on less busy routes.

    Flydubai operates Kiev on behalf of Emirates (who closed the route previously) It also flies to a few points in Central and Eastern Europe. Helsinki is set to follow.

    One wonders if Fkydubai might be tempted to serve UK points such as Bristol or Leeds or Edinburgh ?


    @amcwhirter – Yes agreed, I know that there has been a recent tie up, even if they are the same owner anyway.
    But this will surely damage, or shall we say erode further the EK brand, as FlyDubai are a LCC operator, and using ‘no frills’ Max 8’s on long thin routes such as Bristol, Leeds or Edinburgh, as you mused, would not entice me one iota.
    Furthermore some FlyDubai flights leave from DWC, so if that meant changing airports for pax in transit/transfer and DWC from DXB is a good 50kms distance, that would not be very popular. It would also raise complications for ‘official’ entry into UAE for non visa holders for the transit/transfer procedure.
    Altogether IMHO, not a very savory prospect.


    alainboys56 – I do hear what you say. Perhaps Edinburgh wasn’t a good example. I only mentioned that city because it is fairly close to Glasgow and for that reason I couldn’t see EK justifying wide-body B777-300ER service to the Scottish capital.

    Good point about the different Dubai airports. My assumptions were based on Flydubai operating out of DXB and this is the case with the European services it already operates and also with Helsinki which starts later this year.

    In the UK Bristol and Leeds would welcome the sort of global links a Gulf carrier could offer even if it might be Flydubai.

    Bristol must be jealous at Cardiff’s success in wooing QR. Its service will be launched next week and the trade functions held in Cardiff recently all stress the global links with QR can offer business and leisure travellers alike.

    I realise that Flydubai is classified as a LCC in the Gulf region. But in Europe its onboard product, especially in business class, is positively luxurious.

    We expect LCCs flying long-haul with the new generation of narrow-bodied aircraft to configure their aircraft with a dense one-class configuration. A good example would be Norwegian whose B737 MAX8s (now operating secondary transatolantic routes),

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