As reported, the Dubai Airshow underlined that the big three gulf airlines – Dubai-owned Emirates Airlines, Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways and Doha-based Qatar Airways – have a game-changing vision to redraw the world's travel maps and turn their region into a global hub. Boeing and Airbus are enjoying the demand, but legacy carriers are worried.
John Leahy, Airbus’ commercial director, says that with a long-haul A330 or Boeing 777, 90% of the global population and two-thirds of the world’s wealth are reachable on a direct flight from Dubai. Boeing’s VP for marketing Randy Tinseth: “The Gulf three don't view the Middle East as their market; they view the world as their market.” Boeing thinks that the region will need 2500 new aircraft in the coming 20 years, while Airbus thinks it will be 1900 planes. Experts predict that that global air traffic cannot accommodate such expansion “without taking an enormous amount of traffic from the legacy carriers.”