Jazeera Airways predicts LCC boom

Guest Writer

Low-cost carriers (LCCs) will command a 15% share of the Middle East aviation market by 2015 compared to 5% at present, Jazeera Airways CEO Stefan Pichler (pictured) has told TDME.”Long term, most of the short-haul traffic will be delivered by LCCs,” he said in an exclusive interview.And while internet bookings were growing rapidly for Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways, Pichler emphasised that the region’s travel agents were becoming “increasingly important” to the airline.”They are still the key enabler for many people to travel,” he said.”We will develop our partnership with the travel trade much further within the next couple of years and we have just created an agency advisory board in Kuwait.”Pichler said the airline’s current growth strategy was to expand its network in MENA, based on the potential profitability of routes.”We will see some market consolidation happen which will help us to accelerate this growth,” he said.He also claimed that the expansion of Dubai-based LCC flydubai had not directly impacted Jazeera Airways’ business.”But it has brought the average market fares ex Dubai down, which affects every competitor,” he conceded.

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