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Middle Eastern carriers are grabbing a bigger share of the air passenger market between Europe and Asia.
New research from Amadeus Air Traffic Travel Intelligence found that 15 per cent of passengers travelling from Europe to Asia or Australasia are now routing through the airports of Doha, Abu Dhabi or Dubai – the home airports of Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates respectively.
The report found that there was a 20 per cent increase in people travelling from Europe to Asia through these Middle Eastern airports in 2012 – this compares to an overall 7 per cent rise in Europe-to-Asia air traffic last year.
Asia saw the biggest increase in total passenger numbers in 2012 – rising by 9 per cent to 787 million while Europe saw a 4 per cent increase to 680 million passengers and North America just a 2 per cent rise to 597 million. Globally air travel rose by 5 per cent last year to 2.5 billion passengers.
The report also found that Asia enjoyed the highest level of competition on its air routes with 75 per cent having at least three airlines operating on each route. Europe only had this level of competition on 55 per cent of its routes while North America had at least three competing carriers on 66 per cent of routes.
Pascal Clement, Amadeus’ head of travel intelligence, said: “This data provides good news for the airline industry, showing that passenger air traffic has increased in every region of the world from 2011 to 2012.
“As in 2011, this growth is led by Asia, however, the data points to a further opportunity in the region, where the majority of traffic is on a small number of busy routes.”
Europe continues to have the deepest penetration of no-frills carriers with a 38 per cent share of all air traffic in the region – up from 36.5 per cent in the previous year.
This was followed by Australasia where low-cost airlines account for 36.6 per cent of the total air market and North America where they have a 30.2 per cent share.amadeus.com