Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Gil Sinclair

Second Advisor

Willem Homan

Third Advisor

Vladimir Risukhin


Airlines around the world have a plethora of factors to consider in order to build a profit generating, sustainable business. Some of these factors are the cost of implementing a new route, the availability of aircraft and crew, the ability of airports to provide ground services, the customer demand, competition with other airlines, and legislative and political pressures. This document expands on the various differences that exist between airlines in two parts of the world: The Middle East, and the United States of America. Over the last few years, the Middle East Three (ME3), comprised of Etihad Airways, Emirates Airlines, and Qatar Airways, have been pitted against the U.S. Legacy Carriers, comprised of American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines, with the latter accusing the former of receiving government subsidies that would place them in violation of the open skies agreements that exist between the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and the United States of America. This document explores the differences between how the Middle East Three and the U.S. Legacy Carriers run their airline operations, and the various factors that impact their operations. This is achieved by using financial and operational data from the year 2016, as well as the frameworks provided by SWOT, PEST, and Five Forces analyses.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted