Whether you're hitting the dusty streets of Doha to case out Qatar in the build-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the sprawling megalopolises of the UAE on the edge of the Persian Gulf, the ancient harbours of Jaffa, the UNESCO Heritage Sites of Jeddah, the fascinating wonders of Petra in the Jordanian desert, or the rugged peaks of the Al Hajar Mountains in Muscat, these regional airlines are the ones that you can rely on to get you on the ground. They have all been selected by acclaimed aviation awards body Skytrax and rated as the top five fliers currently criss-crossing the skies of the Middle East.
Currently based between the runways of Jeddah-King Abdulaziz International Airport, SkyTeam alliance member Saudia kick off this selection of the top fliers in the Middle East region. In the last ten years there have been some huge changes to the carrier's fleet, with all-new Boeing 777-300ERs and Airbus A330-300s bolstering the roster, complete with Wi-Fi connectivity, an award-winning economy class with a whopping 34 inches of seat pitch, and support for mobile networks in the air!
With a current fleet of 37 aircrafts and 17 orders for new big Boeings pending, it's clear to see that the fortunes of national flag carrier Oman Air are looking up! And why not, when the airline touts Skytrax accolades aplenty, all-new first class mini suites on its larger planes, an award-winning staff, and hi-tech Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity aboard all Airbus A330s? That's not to mention some seriously popular long-haul connections to London and Bangkok in its repertoire as well.
Hot on the tail of its national compadre at a very respectable third place on Skytrax's list of the top airlines in the Middle East, Etihad does well to bolster the position of the UAE as one of the region's veritable aviation hubs. The offering here includes all-new 'Residence' first class options, which are sprawled out over three rooms and boast private bathrooms, 32-inch TV screens, and a separate lounge area—the largest suites currently commercially available in the air!
Running some of the most popular routes in and out of the Middle East and enjoying a centralized hub at bustling Dubai International Airport, flag carrier Emirates is one of the backbones of the region's aviation scene. What's more, not only is the carrier currently rated amongst the world's largest and busiest airlines, but it's also continually hailed for excellence in service, garnering separate Skytrax accolades for its first-class cabins and in-flight entertainment offering.
With destinations on five separate continents and a place amongst the big boy carriers of the Oneword alliance, Qatar Airways are currently one of the undisputed giants of the Middle Eastern aviation industry. Their range of connections across the globe makes them a truly attractive option for the modern traveler, and their first class massage seats, award-winning economy class cabins, acclaimed Oryx Entertainment systems and $90 million airport lounge-come-spa facilities certainly help put them one step ahead of their regional counterparts.