The Most Active in the Middle East?: Qatar Airways

The Most Active in the Middle East?: Qatar Airways
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

Based on data from, the most active airline in the Middle East is Qatar Airways, but the margins are definitely close.

In this piece, we will take a look at where the carrier is at the moment and how they fare up against their main competitors.

Without further ado, let’s get into the numbers…

Qatar Airways’ Numbers…

The Most Active in the Middle East?: Qatar Airways
Data provided by

For May 9-16, Qatar Airways handled 598 movements, which is an increase of 20.08% compared to the same period last year.

This figure is around 45 movements higher than the same period in 2019, which shows that post-pandemic growth is well en route.

Below is the last four weeks’ worth of data from the carrier:

Date2019 Numbers2022 Numbers2023 NumbersPercentage Difference (2023 vs. 2022)
April 11-18628 movements494 movements547 movements+10.73%
April 18-25625 movements499 movements559 movements+12.02%
April 25-May 2569 movements496 movements575 movements+15.93%
May 2-9548 movements500 movements580 movements+16.00%

What we can see from the data is that for the last five weeks, Qatar Airways has achieved double-digit growth in movement numbers compared to last year.

Such efforts towards being the most active in the Middle East are despite the fact that in two of those five weeks, they were below pre-pandemic levels.

How Do They Fare Against Their Competitors?

Data provided by

As we can see from the graphic above, we can see that Qatar Airways is the most active carrier in the Middle East at the moment.

There is a close battle with SAUDIA, which has 497 average daily movements, with Emirates coming third with 461.

Etihad is all of the way down in 6th, with 182 movements, and is currently being beaten by low-cost carriers such as Flydubai, flynas, and Air Arabia.

However, as airlines in the Middle East, particularly the legacy carriers, begin restoring pre-pandemic services, this battle will no doubt hotten up as we enter June, July, and August.


Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

What remains clear is that Qatar Airways is pushing ahead into the Summer 2023 season on a high note but will have to fight hard to keep that #1 spot.

With SAUDIA creeping closer to the 500s in terms of daily movements, it will be interesting to see what the battle will look like between the two moving forward.

Emirates, are, of course, reactivating aircraft on a regular basis, which will mean more services to be added and reinstated, which will no doubt put them in the battle to move forward.

What remains clear is that the Middle East will be a market to keep an eye on over the course of this busy period.

By James Field - Editor in Chief 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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