Impact of Middle East emerging carriers on US and EU legacy airlines
Author(s)De Vergnes, Matthieu (Matthieu Arthur)
Technology and Policy Program.
Peter P. Belobaba.
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Airlines in the Middle East have captured significant attention from governments, media and consumers over the past decade. By building large networks that facilitate international connections at their hubs, Middle East carriers are able to compete in a wide range of origin destination markets around the globe. Three of these carriers stand out with their recent expansion to European, US and Asian destinations: Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, also known as the ME3 carriers. From a capacity perspective, ME3 airlines have grown very rapidly on routes where they compete with US and European airlines. Over the 2010-2015 period, from Europe to the ME, ME3 airlines increased their seat capacity by 97% against a 1% reduction by European legacy carriers. At the same time, ME3 carriers increased the number of seats from the US by 181% while, as of 2017, US carriers have cut all flights to the Middle East, with the exception of Israel. In addition, ME3 capacity to Asia, and in particular to India, grew significantly. From a traffic perspective, ME3 carriers have had a significant impact in markets beyond the Middle East. Passenger traffic in the EU-India and US-India markets grew by 14% and 26% respectively since 2010. Most of the growth was driven by ME3 carriers, allowing them to reach 26% and 37% market share in these markets in 2015. The ME3 capacity growth likely stimulated the overall demand in markets to India but has also caused some diversion of traffic away from nonME3 carriers. In a two-way fixed effect econometric model, we estimated that the presence of ME3 carriers in average EU-India and US-India markets diverted, respectively, 20% and 32% of nonME3 traffic to ME3 carriers. The growing influence of ME3 carriers has led to significant controversy over claims of subsidies and unfair competition from both US and ME3 airlines. Based on a brief review of the various claims, we found that both sides have received government backing. It is difficult to determine whether either of the parties have violated established competition rules while benefiting from this support. Nonetheless, the dispute is likely to continue, if not for legal purposes at least for public relations and political purposes.
Thesis: S.M. in Technology and Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, Technology and Policy Program, 2017.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 129-130).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute for Data, Systems, and Society.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.; Technology and Policy Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Institute for Data, Systems, and Society., Engineering Systems Division., Technology and Policy Program.