Middle East hub airports winning long-haul passenger traffic race

Daniel Batchelor

Global Head of Corporate Communications, Amadeus IT Group

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Confirming data from the Amadeus Air Traffic Intelligence solution – our travel trends report Shaping the Future of Travel – found that travel by air traffic between the Middle East and Africa and the Asia Pacific region, as well as within the Asia Pacific region has grown the fastest over the last few years.


This is closely followed by travel between the Middle East Africa region and Europe, the Asia Pacific region and the Americas, and the Asia Pacific region and Europe. These dominant bilateral travel flows are driven by high growth in both the Asia Pacific and the Middle East Africa markets. In the competition for long-haul transfer passenger traffic, hub airports in the Middle East are thus far winningthe race.


Point to point traffic may be growing, but at the same time, airports are competing to be regional hubs. While the number of international transfer longhaul O&D passengers across major European and North American hubs have been growing relatively modestly over the past 5 years (8% in North America and 10% in Europe), the number of such transfer passengers flying through the Middle East hubs has been increasing at the rapid rate of 79% over the same period.

Hub airports in the Middle East have profited from their strategic location between Asia, Africa, and Europe in attracting long-haul transfer passengers, with Dubai airport leading the pack.

The rise of the Middle East as a global air traffic hub comes as no surprise to us – and now it’s time to see how travel players in the region position themselves to take advantage of these trends. What do you think? How can travel players in the MENA region use these findings to improve their businesses? Let us know and also be sure to visit us next month at ATM Dubai to discuss these trends.


Asia Pacific, Middle East, Research