Effect of open skies in the Middle East region

Nicole Adler*, Niron Hashai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This research aims to estimate potential inter-regional passenger flows for air transport in the Middle East under open skies polices, once deregulation agreements are reached between neighboring countries. To arrive at reasonable demand estimates, Western and Eastern European demand data was analyzed as a first step, since it is assumed that current Middle Eastern demand is distorted as a direct result of regional political instability. The major factors affecting demand, based on the European dataset, included population size, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, absolute difference in GDP per capita between two countries, great circle distance and membership of the European Union and World Trade Organization. Subsequently, a 21 country database was estimated for passenger flow in the Middle East region on an average peak season day. The demand estimations became input for a hub location model (p-hub median formulation) in order to achieve the second major aim of this research, objective identification of potential regional gateways. The results proved robust to both single and multiple allocation model assumptions, with Cairo and Tehran consistently achieving hub status, along with Istanbul and Riyadh, as the number of potential hubs increased. Finally, this research shows that under conditions of peace, given existing socio-economic indicators, inter-regional passenger demand flow could increase by upwards of 51% and regulatory authorities ought to consider the necessary infrastructure and demand management policies to enable the conservative regional demand growth estimated.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)878-894
Number of pages17
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study has greatly benefited from the comments of Bill Swan. The authors wish to thank the University Institute for Diplomacy at Tel Aviv University, the Asper Center for Entrepreneurship and the Recanati Fund at the Hebrew University for their financial support. They further wish to thank Galit Shani, Ariel Re’em and Alex Levkov for their research assistance.


  • Air transport
  • Demand forecasting
  • Deregulation
  • Hub and spoke networks
  • Middle East


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