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Aviation and transport news from the Middle East. All the important stories, exclusive interviews, plus authoritative opinion and analysis

Riyadh Air Comac C919

Riyadh Air not buying from China’s Comac ‘for now’

Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia’s new national carrier, will not consider China’s Comac for its narrowbody order to be announced later this year. However, the airline said it saw a future in Saudi Arabia for Comac, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, as the Chinese alternative to Boeing and Airbus.  “The narrowbody order is in its […]

Organisations have protested US investment bank BlackRock’s participation in the bid to buy a stake in Malaysia Airports Holdings

Malaysian airport deal faces Gaza war backlash

Plans by a consortium, including the UAE’s largest sovereign wealth fund, to buy a stake in Malaysian airports have been hit by protests against the deal from local business organisations in the Asian country. As many as 22 organisations have called upon the Malaysian government to block US investment bank BlackRock’s participation in the bid […]

A rendering of DP World's logistics park in Jeddah Islamic Port

$250m logistics park breaks ground in Jeddah

Dubai logistics company DP World has commenced work on a SAR900 million ($250 million) logistics park in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Islamic Port. The new storage and distribution facilities, being developed along with state-backed Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani), will boost trade in the kingdom and the wider region. The 415,000 sq m “greenfield” facility will provide […]

Saudi Comac Dongfeng He Bandar al-Khorayef

Chinese planemaker banned by US woos Saudi airlines

The boss of a leading Chinese planemaker arrived in Saudi Arabia this week to pitch his aircraft just as the United States said it was close to finalising a defence agreement with Riyadh that is meant to limit its trade links with China.  Dongfeng He, chairman of Comac, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, wants […]

Passengers at Muscat International Airport. Oman plans for it to be joined by six more locations

Oman plans six new airports in tourism push

The majority of Oman’s six new airports are expected to be operational by 2028 and 2029, as part of the government’s initiative to promote tourism, a senior government official has said. Work is under way on designing the new projects, which will increase the number of airports to 13, Naif Al Abri, chairman of the Civil […]

Turkish Airlines flew 18.5 million passengers from January to March 2024, up 8.4 percent annually

Turkish Airlines revenue rises 10% to nearly $5bn

Revenue at Turkey’s national carrier Turkish Airlines rose 10 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2024 to $4.8 billion, driven by growing passenger numbers. Turkish Airlines flew 18.5 million passengers from January to March, up 8.4 percent annually, it said in its latest investor presentation. Passenger revenue climbed 5 percent year on year […]

The number of ships traversing the Suez Canal has almost halved and Egypt expects a substantial revenue fall

Red Sea crisis could drop Suez Canal revenue by 60%

Suez Canal revenues may decrease by up to 60 percent due to elevated tensions in the Red Sea, according to assessments cited by Egyptian finance minister Mohamed Maait. Speaking at a ministerial event at Cairo University on Monday, Maait said the revenue fall would further exacerbate the state’s budget deficit which has grown to EGP120 […]

GACA president Abdulaziz Al-Duailej said licences would be announced soon for more low-cost flights from regional Saudi airports

More low-cost airline routes planned for Saudi Arabia

Plans to privatise domestic airports have been announced by Saudi Arabia as part of an aviation expansion strategy, which includes imminent licences for more low-cost airline routes, the kingdom’s civil aviation authority said this week.  The General Authority of Civil Aviation has signed an agreement with a consortium led by the Turkish airport operator TAV […]

Dubai's total passenger traffic for Q1 2024 reached 23,052,060, an annual rise of 8.4 percent

Passenger traffic at UAE airports increases 15%

Passenger traffic at UAE airports rose 15 percent year on year to 36.5 million in the first three months of 2024, according to data released by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA)  Arrivals reached 10.7 million, while departures stood at 10.9 million. The number of transit passengers was 14.9 million, the state-run Wam news agency […]

EV charger network UAE

UAE to roll out countrywide EV fast charger network

The UAE is speeding up the expansion of its electric vehicle charger infrastructure in support of the energy transition, the shift from fossil-based systems of energy production. UAEV, a joint venture between the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and Etihad Water and Electricity that was announced on Monday, intends to build a network of high-performance […]

A jet on the assembly line at the Airbus factory in Blagnac, France. Saudia says it is updating the interiors of its current fleet

Saudia announces ‘largest deal in Saudi aviation history’

Saudia, one of Saudi Arabia’s national carriers, has ordered 105 aircraft from Airbus, with the first batch due for delivery in early 2026. Saudia director general Ibrahim Al-Omar told an aviation industry forum in Riyadh that it is “the largest deal in Saudi aviation history”. A similarly large order has been made by new carrier […]

A Geely Galaxy E8 electric vehicle at Auto China 2024. Geely is one of the most popular Chinese car brands in the Gulf

Chinese carmakers ‘taking Gulf by storm’

Chinese carmakers now claim a sizeable chunk of new car sales in the Gulf and it is likely they will increase their market share further by wooing regional consumers through their vehicles’ innovative designs and perceived value for money. That is the prediction of Amir Khurshid, CEO of Saudi Arabia’s ThinkDirect Automotive Consulting and an […]

Emirates Nigeria

Emirates to resume Nigeria service from October

Emirates will restart services to Nigeria from October 1, after suspending flights on the route for almost two years. The Dubai airline will operate a daily service to  Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city.  “We are excited to resume our services to Nigeria,” said Adnan Kazim, deputy president and chief commercial officer, Emirates.  “We thank the Nigerian government for their partnership and support in re-establishing this […]

Agility has developed more than 1 million sq m of land, warehousing and logistics infrastructure in Saudi Arabia

Earnings at Kuwait’s Agility rise 22% to $61m in 2024

Kuwait-based logistics specialist Agility said first-quarter 2024 earnings rose 22 percent year on year to KD18.7 million ($61 million) Revenue increased nearly 5 percent year on year to KD336 million, the company said in a statement published on Boursa Kuwait. The company reported an operating cash flow of KD26 million for the first quarter. Assets stood at […]

King Abdulaziz International Airport: the number of international flights increased but there were less than 27.4 million international visitors to the kingdom last year

Passenger numbers rise 26% in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia said this week that its total number of air passengers rose 26 percent to 112 million in 2023. This includes a 46 percent rise in the total number of international travellers to 61 million.  The number means the kingdom’s airports are approaching full capacity, which is 116 million passengers a year, including 45 […]

Dual-fuel container ship Ane Maersk leaves Hamburg on its maiden voyage Video length: 03:53

Shipping needs cheaper green methanol for its route to net zero

Higher costs and undersupply remain the biggest concerns for shipping companies seeking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by switching to green methanol.  Danish logistics company Maersk has ordered 25 vessels that can run on sustainably produced e-methanol. Its first large methanol container ship, Ane Maersk, arrived at Jebel Ali port in Dubai last week. […]

Airport, Adult, Female The Middle East served 422 million air passengers in 2023 and is expected to serve 466 million in 2024

Airport chiefs size up ways to meet GCC airspace demand

The annual number of air travellers to and from the Middle East is projected to pass the half-billion mark next year, meaning aviation authorities need to both expand and streamline use of available airspace, senior GCC airport chiefs have told AGBI. Oman is in talks with a neighbouring Gulf state to unlock a new air […]

Qatar Airways said it was not able to meet high post-Covid demand due to shortage of new aircraft

Qatar Airways urges Boeing and Airbus to address delays

The head of state-run Qatar Airways has urged Airbus and Boeing to address supply chain issues to prevent airlines from “bleeding”. “I know they are under so much pressure when it comes to the supply chain market,” Reuters reported, quoting Badr Mohammed Al Meer speech at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha. Airbus and Boeing need to […]

A cargo plane lands at a Malaysian airport. MAHB’s airport network serves some of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets

UAE wealth fund in $4bn bid to privatise Malaysian airport

A consortium that includes the UAE’s Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has announced a voluntary offer to acquire all the shares in Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) for nearly $4 billion. The other consortium partners are Malaysian government-backed Khazanah Nasional and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and New York-headquartered Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP). Upon completion of the offer, Khazanah ownership stake in MAHB […]

Dubai-headquartered DP World has invested over €250 million in Romania since 2004, including grants from the EU

DP World’s $142m projects enhance Romania’s trade links

The global ports operator DP World has opened three new sites in Romania with an investment of €130 million ($142 million), enhancing the country’s growing status as a key trade hub in Europe.  Two new facilities were opened in Constanta, the largest container port on the Black Sea, following a €65 million investment. These include a five-hectare cargo […]

RwandAir CEO Yvonne Manzi Makolo said in Doha: 'Addis is already a huge hub but Kigali will be an alternative regional hub, especially given the geographical position of Rwanda'

Qatar and Rwanda to open airport in ‘heart of Africa’ by 2028

Qatar Airways and RwandAir will open a major international airport in Rwanda’s capital Kigali by 2028, the airlines said this week. The Qatari flag carrier has also announced plans to take a stake in a southern African airline to cement its expansion plans on the continent.  RwandAir and Qatar Airways, which have a code-sharing agreement, […]