BRICs and MORTAR: Building for growth in air transport

MORTARs form a new vanguard with the BRICS: The aviation industries of the BRICs and the MORTAR countries (MORocco, Turkey and the United ARab Emirates – please note this is a brand new definition!!!) are both booming with 15% growth. Just-happened MORTAR route launches include Royal Air Maroc (Casablanca-Porto), Turkish Airlines (Istanbul to Washington) and Etihad (Abu Dhabi –Seoul). did not invent the term BRICs, which is used to describe the importance of the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China. But we are claiming intellectual copyright over MORTAR to describe a homogeneous group of equally-significant and aviationally-important nations: MORocco, Turkey and the United ARab Emirates.

As the aviation industry starts to reflect on 2010 and what it might (or might not) tell us about what we can expect in 2011, looks at both of these fast-developing parts of the world where the demand for air travel is definitely booming.

BRIC nations all reporting booming air travel markets …

While countries in Europe such as Ireland and the UK ponder the wisdom of having burdened passengers with additional taxation, and others such as Germany and Austria follow in their dubious footsteps in 2011, the BRIC nations have all reported air traffic growth (as measured in a variety of ways) in 2010 of more than 15%. For analysis in detail see these four recent trendwatches: Brazil, Russia, India and China. All of these countries have, to some extent, bounced back from slumps in recent years, but are now showing signs of long-term sustainable growth as the global economy gradually recovers.

Country (Period and market) Total Domestic International
Brazil (Jan-Oct, all airports) +22.0% +22.0% +22.0%
Russia (Jan-Aug, top 10 airports) +27.5%
Russia (Jan-Oct, top 10 airlines) +24.8%
India (Apr-Sep, all airports) +16.2% +17.8% +12.2%
China (Jan-Oct, airlines) +17.2% +16.1% +33.8%
Morocco (Jan-Nov, airports) +15.6%
Turkey (Jan-Nov, airports) +20.9% +24.0% +18.2%
United Arab Emirates (Jan-Sep, DXB airport) +15.8%
Source: Infraero, TCH, AAI, CAAC, ONDA, DHMI, Dubai Airport
Dr Temel Kotil, President and CEO Turkish Airlines, tells publisher Paul Hogan.

MORTAR in concrete terms: “I want Turkish to be the largest airline on Earth – that’s the target – and it is possible if we have enough network growth.” Dr Temel Kotil, President and CEO, Turkish Airlines, tells publisher Paul Hogan.

… joined by MORTAR’s group of three MORTAR countries have also reported growth of over 15% through their airports, or in the case of the United Arab Emirates, the region’s biggest airport, Dubai. As with the BRICs, the similarities, differences, politics and natural benefits of the MORTAR are quite miscellaneous.

Morocco has benefited mainly from its decision some years ago to negotiate an ‘open-skies’ agreement with the European Union, with the stated (and successful) intent of boosting inbound tourism, which it sees as a fundamental part of its economic development.

Meanwhile, Turkey is benefiting from a fast developing economy, increasing tourism from Western European holiday makers, and a national carrier that genuinely believes Istanbul can rival the likes of Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai as a global hub, with the added advantage of a major domestic market. (This was patiently explained to in a separate interview by Dr Temel Kotil, President and CEO, Turkish Airlines.)

The two main UAE airports of Abu Dhabi and Dubai continue to benefit from the ambitious growth plans of their respective home carriers (Etihad and Emirates) as they continue to establish themselves as alliance-free global mega-carriers.

Whether all of these markets will maintain such impressive growth rates in 2011 remains to be seen, but rest assured that will be tracking the trends – and accompanying route launches – reporting back on a regular basis throughout next year.


  1. Arthur Dent says:

    Latest figures for Dubai show traffic up 15.1% last month (November) and 15.6% year-to-date.

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