An airline’s reputation is one of the most important factors that UAE travellers take into consideration when booking a flight, a survey by Turkish Airlines has revealed.
Turkish Airlines’ “Future of Air Travel” survey, carried out by Forsa Study, examined a cross-section of travellers flying different airlines from the UAE. The survey found that 94 per cent of UAE passengers surveyed think that an airline’s reputation is either important or very important for them while booking their tickets, and that they usually make their assumption by checking the airline’s safety record.
The survey further sheds light on some valuable travel insights, in which respondents were surveyed on various topics, including cleanliness of cabin and washrooms, friendly and attentive staff, wider seat space, catering on board, increased sense of security and variety of welcome drinks.
In terms of seat comfort, 65 per cent of surveyed passengers from the UAE said they would prefer more comfortable seats, while 94 per cent of residents reported that they would be satisfied if wider seats were provided to them in economy class flights.
Emre Ismailoglu, general manager for Dubai and the Northern Emirates region at Turkish Airlines, said: “UAE travellers have revealed their varied expectations from airlines for the future which is a good indicator of where the bar needs to be raised within the aviation sector. Safety continues to be the biggest concern for passengers closely followed by their comfort in the air.”
An annual survey of the world’s biggest airlines by AirlineRatings.com in January 2016 put Qantas in the top spot for the third year in a row. The Australian carrier was followed by Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airlines and American Airlines. Gulf carriers Emirates and Etihad Airways also performed well in terms of safety coming in seventh and eighth position, respectively. Turkish Airlines’ report also provided some insights on flight preferences of UAE passengers, where 55 per cent said they took long-haul flights compared to 44 per cent who booked medium-haul flights and around 20 per cent who booked short haul flights. Catering is another major concern for most UAE travellers, preferring a wider variety of menu options.
Over 84 per cent said they would like to choose from several options rather than have a standard fare handed out. In addition, 94 per cent claimed that cleanliness of the cabin and washrooms is either important or very important for them, while more than 90 per cent wish to have friendly, attentive and accessible staff.
A similar survey that was conducted in six other countries including Germany, the UK, the US, Japan, South Africa and Nigeria also included “sense of security among travellers in comparison with a year ago” as another category. Exactly half the surveyed participants reported that they have a better overall sense of security when going on a plane in comparison with last year, highlighting the focus given to security at airports.
The study also took a general look at the travel behaviour of UAE residents in which 31 per cent said that they have flown at least once or twice in their lives, compared to 29 per cent who reported that they have travelled by air three to four times. Other statistics include 24 per cent of residents who say they have not travelled by plane at all in the past two years, and 17 per cent stating they are frequent fliers.