By launching a subsidiary in Abu Dhabi, Hungary’s Wizz Air has made a statement of intent. Until recently, it was the Gulf airlines looking to invest in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), rather than vice-versa. But Wizz Air has been able to leverage its success on the growing CEE market to look globally. Within CEE, the rise of low-cost carriers like Wizz Air is helping spur consolidation, with more successful flag carriers seeking inorganic growth and economies of scale.
Saudi Aramco’s recent proposed investment in Sempra Energy’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Port Arthur, Texas, is indicative of the growing power of the US in the global energy market. The surge in US oil production has already had a major impact on the Middle East: the oil price crash which began in 2014 put an end to a 12-year period of budgetary comfort for MENA oil exporters, largely because of the extra US output. That country’s rapid climb up the ranks of the world’s LNG exporters is now an important factor in the calculations of many regional economies in which natural gas is of strategic importance, whether in the domestic energy mix or as an export commodity.