The Middle East will see strongest growth of any global region in available long-haul airline seats in September, adding 22,000 extra seats per day, according to latest statistics from OAG.
The FACTS (Frequency and Capacity Trend Statistics) report for September 2012 reveals an expected 5% growth in available seats to and from the Middle East, compared to September 2011, with 13.1 million anticipated in the month. Meanwhile, flight operations to and from the region are expected to increase by 4% to 59,771.
“Dubai is expected to lead all major global hubs in September in terms of growth, with an 8% increase in flights and a 12% increase in seats, a disparity partly reflecting Emirates’ adoption of the Airbus A380,” Rob Shaw, Director of Analytics at OAG, said.
He added that Abu Dhabi, however, is enjoying the fruits of its own expansion strategy and will remain the fastest growing hub in the Middle East, with a 16% increase in seat capacity to 1,661,512 compared to September 2011. “Doha and Riyadh will also see strong growth in seat capacity of 10% and 5% respectively,” the top OAG official said.
“The Middle East remains at the vanguard of long-haul air traffic growth globally. While this expansion in part reflects the ambitious growth targets of the ‘superconnector’ airlines – Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways – airport infrastructure investments across the region continue to make the Middle East attractive to other long-haul carriers,” he explained.