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Arab carriers balk at expansion in East Asia due to "overcapacities"

Xinhua Financein DUBAI
2017-12-07 09:07

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Arab carriers Royal Jordanian and flydubai said here on Wednesday that they plan no further expansion of their networks in East Asia given "overcapacities" in the region.

"Royal Jordanian already flies to Bangkok, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, but we do not plan to expand our networks in East Asia as we see immense overcapacities there," Stefan Pichler, president and chief executive officer of Jordan's national carrier Royal Jordanian, told Xinhua.

He made the remarks at the sidelines of the ongoing Arab Aviation Summit 2017 in the United Arab Emirates.

The German aviation veteran also predicted a further consolidation among Middle Eastern and East Asian carriers in the coming years.

Ghaith Al-Ghaith, chief executive officer of Dubai's low-cost carrier flydubai, echoed Pichler's judgement about East Asia's market when asked the same question.

"We are flying to Russia and Ukraine, but at the current stage we have no plans to expand in the Far East. Not for now, maybe in the future," he said.

Flydubai's local rival Air Arabia, which operates from Sharjah, has been flying directly from Sharjah to Urumqi, a major city in northwest China, since January 2015.

But Tim Clark, president of the Middle East's biggest carrier Emirates, said at the Dubai Airshow almost a month ago that the Dubai government-controlled carrier expects to expand in China in 2018.

Emirates, which recently received its 100th Airbus A380 Superjumbo aircraft, flies to five destinations across China.
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