While the current focus is aimed squarely at the Gulf carriers of Etihad Airways, Emirates and Qatar Air, Chinese carriers pose a far greater threat for US airlines, according to a report by aviation intelligence firm OAG.
US and Gulf carriers have been trading barbs over the issue of ‘unfair’ subsidies provided to the Gulf carriers.
However, China will replace the US as the largest aviation market in the next seven years, OAG’s ‘The Fight for Global Markets’ report claims.
John Grant, executive vice-president at OAG, says Chinese carriers such as China Southern, China Eastern and Air China could become the new ‘big three’, fuelled by fast growing domestic markets.
“Whilst it is perhaps impossible to predict the future of the airline industry, the evidence suggests that China, and also Indonesia and Turkey might be the places where three globally dominant airlines are based in 10 years’ time, benefiting as they do from large domestic markets, growing economies and advantageous geographic position,” he said.