According to IATA, budget airlines account for 23% of the market in the U.S. and 27% in Europe, while in the Middle East they are estimated to have only 6%-8% of the market so far.
The concept is relatively new here: Air Arabia launched in 2003 as the first budget airline in the Middle East. These days more and more budget airlines are being established here. This year alone: three!
Apparently the barriers to entry are not that high: according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), One of the new players, Kang Pacific Airlines of Fujeirah in UAE, has started with $10 million in capital and one leased aircraft. (Fancying establishing an airline in a fast growing market, anyone?)
Here is a list of the current players:
We are hearing of many new players lining up (Pluto Airlines, Arabjet, etc.). So stay tuned for more new names in the coming months …
Previous Post: Justin Timberlake in Abu Dhabi
Next Post: MTV Enters the Middle East