A Century of the Global Airline Industry and the Emergence of the Gulf’s Super Connectors

Main Article Content

Hamad Al Thani


Gulf carriers, Globalisation, Single sky, Super connectors, Government subsidies


Purpose: This article surveys the existing literature on the three Middle Eastern super connectors and provides insight into their early development and the mainstream research on them.

Design/methodology/approach: Data in business research are often scattered and derived from several fields. This study employs a semi-systematic methodology to survey the existing literature and presents their findings in a single paper.

Findings: The key findings demonstrate the existence of genuine rivalry among the three super connectors, whose fast expansion has piqued the curiosity of both industry professionals and academics. Two main streams of research are evolving: investment in foreign airlines and government subsidies. 

Practical implications: The study may be useful for practitioners and academics seeking to understand the current research streams on the Gulf’s super connectors.

Originality/value: The value of this article is in summarising the existing literature into a single document.

Research limitations/implications: Early aviation literature from the Middle East is limited to history books and early literature on oil discovery expeditions. Studying the role of government subsidies is very sensitive and confidential in most cases.


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