Next stop for long haul: airlines set a course to the East
By Rupert Steiner
Published: 11 November 2007
The entourage, including Egypt's first lady, that rocks into town this week with Tutankhamun will not only have walked like an Egyptian, but flown like one.
The exhibition on the life of the boy king at London's O2 Arena is the latest example of new links between the two countries, which include the recent expansion of UK airlines' capacity in the region.
Forget the "open skies" agreement set to unlock transatlantic travel next April – airlines are shunning the US to go East, drawn by the promise of strong market growth, a relative lack of competition and bigger margins.
"Our niche is in the Middle East," says Mr Turner. "We would love to do trans-atlantic, but quite frankly we have been waiting 10 years, so another year ain't going to make a difference.
"I would rather watch what happens and see how competition develops, and if there is a blood bath it can happen while we are not there. The global economy is changing and there is a greater emphasis on developing economies and large populations where there is a huge latent demand."