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|| Low-cost Airlines in the Middle East

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:

Air Arabia
Jazeera Airways
Jupiter Airlines
Kang Pacific Airlines
Nas Air
Sama Airlines
RAK Airways

We are hearing of many new players lining up (Pluto Airlines, Arabjet, etc.). So stay tuned for more new names in the coming months …

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