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IATA says small Mideast carriers must consolidate to survive

February 16, 2014 3:34 am

Hussain Dabbas, Africa and Middle East Regional vice-president at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has said that Middle East airlines that do not enjoy government support must consider consolidating if they want to survive the pressures of the world’s major carriers, Gulf News has reported. “Consolidation in this part of the world has not yet taken place but it should. We have too many small airlines that will find it difficult to survive with the pressure and the expansion of airlines in the region,” said Dabbas. Flag carriers such as Royal Jordanian, Saudia and Iraqi Airlines are unlikely to fold under the pressure, he noted. “Countries might cut subsidies for building roads but they will keep the [national] airline alive because it is a symbol of the country,” Dabbas said.