Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways add new links to Alexandria, Buenos Aires, Dakar, Madrid, Phuket, Prague and São Paulo

Qatar Airways’ arrival in Phuket earlier this month was the latest MEB3 route launch (and another good reason to hub through Doha). Qatar Airways is the MEB3 carrier that is increasing its flights the most and further new routes are announced, while Emirates has made no future routes public.

Since anna.aero last looked at the “Middle East Big 3” (MEB3) airlines of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways back in June, there have been several new route launches. Emirates, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary, has added non-stop services to Dakar (Senegal), Madrid (Spain), Medina (Saudi Arabia) and Prague (Czech Republic). Qatar Airways has added non-stop flights to São Paulo (Brazil), and added Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Phuket (Thailand) flights with an intermediate stop. Finally, Etihad has added non-stop flights to Alexandria in Egypt. Of these, Buenos Aires, Dakar, Medina, Phuket and Prague are new destinations for the MEB3 carriers taken as a whole.

As a result, Emirates now serves 93 destinations non-stop from Dubai, Qatar Airways serves 83 destinations non-stop from Doha and Etihad now serves 60 destinations non-stop from Abu Dhabi. Since our last analysis four months ago, Emirates has increased its non-stop flights from its home base by 1.3%, Etihad by just 0.8% and Qatar Airways by 5.7%.

More new routes planned for remainder of 2010 and 2011

Routes so far announced by the MEB3 carriers which have not yet launched are:

  • Etihad to Seoul (from 12 December) and Bengaluru (1 January)
  • Qatar Airways to Hanoi (from 1 November via Bangkok), Nice (from 24 November via Milan Malpensa), Bucharest (from 17 January), Budapest (from 17 January via Bucharest), Brussels (from 31 January) and Stuttgart (from 9 March).

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