Damascus International Airport
- CAPA Analysis
- Schedule Analysis
- Cargo Analysis
- Route Maps
- Fast Fact Report
Damascus International Airport serves the capital and largest city in Syria, Damascus. The airport is owned and operated by the Syrian Directorate General of Civil Aviation and is the business airport in the country and an important hub in the region. Damascus is served by over 40 passenger and cargo airlines from across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the CIS and averages over 4.5 million passengers p/a. Damascus is also a hub for national airline Syrian Air and private operators Cham Wings Airlines and Syrian Peal. The airport is expected to be substantially redeveloped in the near future.
Location of Damascus International Airport, Syria
Ground Handlers and Cargo Handlers servicing Damascus International Airport
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The political instability engulfing some North African states has extensive implications for tourism and aviation across the region. Already dozens of governments are warning their citizens to avoid travel to Egypt. Several have chartered aircraft to ferry their nationals out. Cairo Airport has been met with chaotic scenes in the past few days as thousands of foreigners seek to leave. In this special report, CAPA reviews the immediate aviation and tourism impacts from the North Africa/Middle East civil unrest.
Kuwait-based premium carrier Wataniya Airways announced it plans to suspend services to Amman, Bahrain, Damascus and Jeddah and reduce the frequency of operations to Dubai. In a major downsizing, the carrier’s fleet will be cut from seven to four aircraft, and it is studying options to cut its workforce. The changes will commence from 05-Dec-2010.
European carriers are becoming increasingly concerned by the Middle East airline threat on their core international businesses. CEOs from British Airways, Air France and Lufthansa have all voiced their opinions lately, as Middle East airlines continue to expand their global networks. But the European flag carriers are not standing idly by. Several are rapidly expanding their presence in the Middle East, to maintain and/or grow their share of this promising market. Emirates is the clear market leader, with a 21.0% share of capacity on Middle East-Europe routes. Qatar Airways is the second largest, with 8.7%, while Lufthansa, British Airways and Air France have just 5.6%, 3.5% and 2.7% shares, respectively.
EgyptAir Holding company Chairman and CEO, Hussein Massoud, stated the carrier plans to increase full-year profits by nearly a third, commenting that the carrier is currently “making a profit", and adding: "We are planning to see more this year”. The company is targeting a USD132 million profit in the 12 months to Jun-2011, a 31% year-on-year increase.
Etihad Airways this month announced plans to introduce its first "all economy" class aircraft to its fleet in Oct-2010. This carrier will be the only non-LCC in the Middle East operating such a configuration, although the product bears some similarity to to the ‘Gulf Traveller’ product that CEO, James Hogan, introduced while heading Gulf Air. The purpose is mainly to tap into the high volume but low yielding markets more effectively. This segment is being addressed aggressively by neighbouring flydubai, based in Dubai and, a few kilometres further along the road in the UAE, the highly successful Sharjah-based Air Arabia. Other low cost airlines from outside the UAE are also targeting the UAE markets. Full service airlines around the world have long struggled with the decision whether to adopt a LCC subsidiary or to segment their operation in this way. In each case different considerations apply. Etihad, in treading the middle path, may have got it right in this market.
Aviation headlines in the Middle East tend to be dominated by the ambitious sixth freedom hub players (the ‘Big Three’: Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways). However, there are some major developments at the second tier full service carriers in the region, such as Oman Air, Royal Jordanian, Gulf Air and Middle East Airlines, as featured in this report. These carriers are reshaping competition in and beyond the region and are being reshaped themselves by dynamic change in the Middle East.