Real Madrid and Barcelona are known for their annual gladiatorial contest for Spanish football supremacy.

Now the two clubs have become pawns in a proxy war among Middle Eastern airlines for global recognition. Read more

By Nicholas Watson of bne

Emirates, the Gulf carrier, is preparing a new route from its Dubai hub to Poland and upgrading its connection to Russia by putting Moscow on its Airbus 380 superjumbo flight list.

While such an expansion by the world’s largest airline is a vote of confidence in emerging Europe, it’s less good news for the region’s struggling flag carriers that are desperately looking to be rescued by such global airlines. Read more

Qantas has ditched its alliance with British Airways for Dubai’s Emirates airline, in a further sign of the shifting balance of power from Europe’s legacy carriers to the Gulf.

As part of the 10-year deal, the Australian carrier will move its long-haul hub from Singapore to Dubai, where Emirates’s cavernous Terminal 3 building is already filling up to the rafters. The move dovetails with Dubai’s plan to ramp up capacity through Dubai airport to match the airline’s aggressive expansion plan and boost the number of passengers travelling through the emirate. Read more

Dubai’s Emirates Airline may still be the subject of plenty of insinuation from its western rivals about subsidies and the luxuries of operating from an oil-rich country. But in its annual results released on Thursday, the airline said high fuel prices hit hard in the last year – harder even, it reported, than some of its European rivals. Read more

A Gulf-based budget airline might sound like a contradiction in terms. But as Camilla Hall reports, Flydubai is one of several carriers rapidly making low-cost travel a reality in the region.

It may have only 22 planes, but Flydubai has weathered the global financial crisis and is now expanding. Even among some of the world’s richest fliers, there are those who don’t mind a spot of cut-price flying – though without the bargain basement feel of some of the industry’s stalwarts.  Read more