Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 6:10 am

94% UAE passengers rely on airline’s reputation when booking tickets

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Turkish Airlines, Europe’s best airline for the sixth year in a row, has unveiled key findings from a ‘Future of Air Travel’ survey carried out by Forsa Study on a cross-section of travellers flying different airlines from the UAE.

An overwhelming majority of UAE passengers surveyed – 94 percent – indicated that an airline’s reputation is either important or very important for them while booking their tickets and 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 percent of surveyed passengers from the UAE said they would prefer more comfortable seats, while 94 percent of residents reported that they would be satisfied if wider seats were provided to them in economy class flights.

Emre Ismailoglu, General Manager, Dubai and Northern Emirates, 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.

“As an airline we take great pride in offering the largest global network. Providing our passengers with the best services possible is one of Turkish Airlines’ key goals. We will continue to work hard on our expansion plans by adding new destinations to our network while constantly innovating to provide the best in class on-board amenities and services.” he added.

Catering is another major concern for most UAE travellers, preferring a wider variety of menu options. Over 84 percent said they would like to choose from several options rather than have a standard fare handed out.

Ismailoglu said: “One of Turkish Airlines’ unique services that has been recognised as being among the best in the world is our in-flight chef who is available on all international flights. Passengers get to choose from a wide variety of dishes and drinks and this takes on-board service to an altogether new level.”

Hasan Demir, General Manager – Abu Dhabi, Turkish Airlines, added: “Our guests from the UAE capital are extremely discerning when it comes to comfort and in-flight conveniences. The passenger survey has proved that we as an airline are already catering to quite a few of those conveniences even as we continue to evolve our offerings to the highest standards possible within the UAE aviation sector.”

A similar survey that was conducted in six other countries (Germany, UK, USA, 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 (50 percent) 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 percent said that they have flown atleast once or twice in their lives, compared to 29 percent who reported that they have travelled by air 3-4 times. Other statistics include 24 percent of residents who say they have not travelled by plane at all in the past two years, and 17 percent stating they are frequent fliers.

The report also provided some insights on flight preferences of UAE passengers, where 55 percent said they took long-haul flights compared to 44 percent who booked medium-haul flights and around 20 percent who booked short haul flights.

Other key findings from the Turkish Airlines-Forsa UAE passenger survey:

  • 88 percentage indicate that they book their flights themselves and online
  • 61 percentage of all surveyed people who book online make use of comparison sites
  • 71 percent prefer to pay an all-inclusive price for flights
  • 67 percent said it is very important to have only one stopover when booking a medium or long distance flight
  • 67 percent feel that they are badly informed about delay at the check-in counter before flights
  • 81 percent are irritated by crowding and a lack of seating provision
  • 94 percent claimed that cleaneliness of the cabin and washrooms is either important or very important for them
  • 94 percent wish to have friendly, attentive and accessible staff
  • 88 percent said that a screen panel in the back of the front seat is a priority for them
  • 84 percent like the possibility to obtain additional covers and pillows
  • 82 percent wish to have dedicated services, toys and meals for children
  • 81 percent said free on-board headphones increase their comfort when travelling
  • 75 percent would like to have a refreshing kit (toothbrush, eye mask, etc..)

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