European Airlines Face Tough Competition from Gulf Carriers

Katarina Mihailova
1 min read

European airlines have experienced a decline in routes to Asia due to fierce competition from state-backed Gulf carriers, who entice travelers with cheaper fares and enhanced services. The pandemic worsened the situation, with a 26% reduction in airline seats between Europe and Asia last year, hindering travel as Asian economies gradually reopen. The ban on European airlines from flying over Russian airspace has also led to longer journey times to East Asia. Lufthansa and Air France-KLM have significantly cut direct flights to major Asian economies due to the competitive pricing and superior products and services offered by Gulf carriers. Furthermore, the Gulf airlines' exemption from certain EU environmental regulations and the disparity in operational costs have created a lopsided playing field for European carriers. However, amidst these challenges, some European airlines are cautiously exploring new routes to Asia, seeking to restore strong connections with dynamic Asian markets for the benefit of European industries.

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