The future will involve partnerships, and some new large hub carriers. Looking back in 2025, the Middle East might appear little changed from 2016: the world will be aghast, and some displeased, that three Gulf airlines and a fourth (not strictly from the Arabian peninsula but with favourable geography and a domestic market) have defied the odds to become global airlines with high growth, and more to come.
Despite the current economic slump sweeping much of Latin America, the region remains one of the most promising for air travel expansion over the next decade.
Despite a capacity restricted environment, Shanghai Pudong, along with Beijing and other Chinese airports and their home airlines, are redefining the trans-Pacific market.
Air traffic between Europe and Asia has achieved consistently moderate growth, unlike the high speed to rapid expansion between Asia and North America.
Route evolution in African international markets has always been defined by intra-African protectionist policies that cause long haul route networks to focus on Europe and, more recently, the Gulf.
The nature of the region’s geography makes finding the right partners for South Pacific airlines essential for survival in international long haul markets – as most are.
Digitising the Airline Business: why and how, presented in the last issue of Airline Leader, raised some questions about the “how” part of my commentary.
There is a variety of factors that will influence the evolution of international airport leaders over the next decade.
Immunised joint ventures (JVs) appear likely to continue to dominate the North Atlantic, although their share will fall as LCCs and leisure airlines grow faster from a much smaller base level – assuming the market remains sufficiently liberal.
One of the undoubted game changers in long haul markets will be long haul low cost operations.