Big Three Gulf Carriers’ financials

Subscription Required By Vincent Valery Introduction Nov. 4, 2019, © Leeham News: The rise of the Big Three Middle Eastern carriers since the mid-2000s has been nothing short of astounding. They took full advantage of an advantageous geographical location: 85% of the world population is within a 10-hour flight from either Qatar or the UAE. Emirates and Qatar Airways connect all continents, except Antarctica. This transformation into super connectors did not come without controversies. The most vocal are the Big Three US legacy carriers, through the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies. They accuse the Gulf Carriers of benefiting from massive subsidies that allow them to underprice their competitors. As part of a deal between Qatar, the UAE, and the USA, the Big Three Gulf Carrier started publishing audited financial statements. Emirates’ and Qatar Airways’ financial statements are publicly available on their websites since 1994 and 2015, respectively. Etihad Airways has been releasing some income statement information since 2010. Ahead of the upcoming Dubai Air Show Nov. 18-19, LNA had a look at those financial statements. We outline our takeaways in this article.  
Summary
  • Very high growth at all three airlines;
  • Funded by different means;
  • Global slowdown and Geopolitical tensions force strategy rethink;
  • Varying levels of earnings quality;
  • An unsuspected (significant) source of revenues.

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