Immarsat aviation
Having to go through quarantining is still a big source of concern for UAE residents when it comes to deciding when they should fly next. Image Credit: Immarsat

Dubai: Nine out of 10 residents of the UAE have made up their minds about what their flying routines should be and the habits they will take on-board - even after the pandemic is over. They would return to the skies so more confidently if certain measures were applied to make their travel and inflight journey as secure as possible.

But until then, they are still undecided, with 32 per cent saying they are likely to cut back on air travel. This is on par with the sentiments expressed by their peers elsewhere.

UAE passengers are more concerned about having to quarantine than the risk of catching the virus on the plane or while abroad. They also cited concerns over unpredictable border closures while travelling, which might leave them unable to return to the UAE. This indicates that passengers are less concerned about the risk of flying, but more about their experience when abroad.

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More likely to get on board

Whilst air travel is expected remain in decline for some time, passengers from the UAE are more likely than their global counterparts to take a flight since the pandemic. In fact, nearly half of those surveyed have been on at least one flight – the third highest rate after those in India and the US.

Other factors such as trust in airlines is also now front-of-mind for UAE travellers. Over a quarter of those surveyed said they would fly only with airlines they trust, and over half say that reputation is now a more significant factor when choosing an airline than it was pre-pandemic.

Immarsat aviation
Image Credit: Immarsat

The survey - Passenger Confidence Tracker - reflects the views of 9,500 respondents from 12 countries, including more than 500 UAE-based passengers, about the future of flying. It was commissioned by Inmarsat.

According to Neale Faulkner, Inmarsat Aviation’s Regional Vice-President, “While UAE passengers are eager to return to travelling, the findings reveal their concerns around points of engagement and the inflight experience.”

The ‘Passenger Confidence Tracker’ shows that almost half of total passengers surveyed expect to feel ready to fly before April next. Even though UAE travellers say they will reassess their travel habits, three in five say they would be confident to fly within the next six months.