Airlines in Middle East, Africa to continue facing challenges in 2017
Passengers at Dubai International Airport. In March 2016, Dubai announced that passengers departing will be required to pay a Dh35 airport user fee.
Abu Dhabi: Airlines in the Middle East and Africa in 2017 are expected to continue facing much of the same challenges they did in 2016, including political instability, softening demand, currency fluctuations, and lower oil prices.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade group of the world’s airlines, a key concern for airlines in the Middle East region specifically is taxes and charges imposed by operators on airlines and passengers.
“We have a lot of examples in 2015 and 2016 where decisions were made, charges were just put and increased, and airlines were impacted overnight with no consultations. This is a major concern in the area.
“By avoiding that consultation process, it’s causing a lot of headache and a lot of negative financial impact on airlines, which are then reconsidering their frequencies to certain airports, reconsidering the type of planes they’re flying, and when the cost of your tickets go up, you’ll reconsider travelling,” said Mohammad Al Bakri, regional vice-president for Africa and the Middle East at IATA.