East to West was always a backwater business for the Airlines except for Singapore Airlines, British Airways and Qantas that ruled their golden Kangaroo Route treasure trove with piratical glee for as the real money was over the pond from Europe to the Good Olde USofA, but now suddenly the world has changed mainly with our Globalisation of the planet in that we are now all one world and not the just in the Western hemisphere of doing business, in this process with the opening of up China and its Tiger States the traveller is also changing the the way they see the world and move around it in business and pleasure as it is now East and West.
The old hub of Singapore today has real competition from the cashed up Gulf states that are changing the type of route you would fly East to West or Europe to Asia or vise-versa, it was once only Via SIN (Singapore) or HKG (Hong Kong) and BKK (Bangkok (a British Airways favorite)), Now in the last few years SEO (Seoul) put a foot in the door and so does NRT (Narita Japan).
but now more and more you can jump from Asia Via DBX (Dubai), in fact it is quite a hub, as you if you desire by flying into this gulf state you can suddenly fly straight to Canada or to Brazil or pretty much anywhere which is the expanding vision of Tim Clark Emirates Airlines chief designer of conquering the world from the air.
And it changes the rules so completely and so differently that it will change the way we travel and why, and it is also a gamble of such immense proportions that if it doesn’t come off it could bankrupt a country, a small country but a country never the less, and too make the gamble even harder Dubai’s next door neighbour Abu Dhabi’s Etihad has exactly the same idea and so does Bahrain with its Airline Gulf Air.
Who will win, all of them but Emirates will still be the one with most to gain with its global domination of its order of 58 Airbus A380 mega jets, in fact the plan is for these huge machines to circle the world constantly like satellites carrying passengers to destinations with Dubai as their hub and a stopover which means any travel from East to West will mostly in 10 years time move you through one these of the Gulf states and its pleasure Kingdoms, Etihad will in time join Emirates and not compete directly as a turf war would not be in the best interest of both states but instead create a bigger hub for all to share the foils of passing trade, just like they did in the old days of the desert caravans, for the older hubs like Singapore already the effects are showing, as Hong Kong is already 12.7% down (May 09) which you would put down to the crisis but Dubai after an initial downturn is already 7% ahead of last year with five new carriers starting services and a new local LCC (Low Cost Carrier) flydubai making its debut..and Oh they want your Cargo Business as well!
Dubai (6th busiest) will also overtake Singapore (Changi) in the Airport rankings this year with Hong Kong next on the list to which you would reply that the SAR was hurt badly by H1N1 flu virus and the Asian recession but also that it is tied to the fortunes of Cathay Pacific Airlines (49% of capacity) which is 6.7% down were as Dubai has Emirates (58.4% of capacity) charging into the future as if there was no tomorrow.
The economic crisis has of course put a major knife through the overall plan, but strangely in an odd way will save it as that the building fever was going overboard with bigger and bigger plans and crazier ideas fronting the Dubai planning committees, some are quite breathtaking in their execution and many will not (should not) survive the downturn, If 58 Airbus giants is not enough then what of a Underwater Hotel, Sports City, Pleasure Cities, The World, The Palms, Dubai Pearl not to mention Burj Dubai monster that at the top you can see London, most are already done or are near completion, but a little slowdown could allow the guardians of the desert to smooth out the edges a little, as it seems now a bit like a huge building sandbox that is not really a mirage in the desert type picture that will really draw the hoards they want, plus the fact that Airbus can only build 14 to 20 planes a year means that a little time would be good and if not for a better plan than pushing everything to open in 2012.
In fact the idea is that Dubai will be a world hub, a global hub for nomads and travellers passing through and spending a shekel on the way, an attraction of pleasure like Las Vegas or Orlando to visit and play in, its a big idea, a huge gamble and its very brave but it won’t happen yet, in fact it will take 10 years before it becomes the dream destination that the Emirati are working towards as for the danger is the economic problems facing the world are more challenging and harder than anyone will expect, but there is no doubt that if you travel from Australia or Asia to Europe in five years you will be able stay underwater, ski the slopes, stand on the highest point of a man made building, shop till you drop, play on the best Golf Courses, do any type of sport you desire or see a concert of your favorite artist then Dubai will be your destination on your way to somewhere else, in fact you may not want to even go anywhere else as the those smart business people in the desert will have have everything you want…..for a shekel or two of course.