Flight Friday: How Are Middle East And African Carriers Rebounding From The Pandemic?

Headquartered in Dubai, UAE’s flag carrier Emirates has the largest fleet in the Middle East. It currently operates a fleet of 238 aircraft, comprising 144 Boeing 777s, 93 Airbus A380s and one A320 aircraft. 

Credit: Emirates

This week’s #FlightFriday looks at the Middle East and African passenger flights.

When comparing the number of flights to the equivalent month to 2019, African operators have consistently exceeded their 2019 equivalents since July 2022. This figure is helped, in part, due to an increase in in-service fleet with African operators, with more than 100 extra aircraft in service when compared to 2019.

Middle Eastern operators are returning at a slightly slower rate due to the nature of how those airlines operate.


Pre pandemic over 50% of Middle East operators traffic involves ‘transit’ traffic which flows through their hubs connecting passengers across the globe, however, with pandemic restrictions only fully lifted in December 2022, this traffic still lags.

This data was put together using Aviation Week’s Tracked Aircraft Utilization tool.

Daniel Williams

Based in the UK, Daniel is the Manager of Fleet, Flight and Forecast data for Aviation Week Network. Prior to joining Aviation Week in 2017, Daniel held a number of industry positions analyzing fleet data.