Abu Dhabi: For many people flying is something routine, it’s simply another mode of transport to get you from one destination to another, but for many others getting on an aircraft is an altogether different experience.

Aviophobia is the fear of flying — and millions of people around the world are affected by it. With the recent spate of aeroplane crashes, such as the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines MH17, and the Air Algerie AH5017 accident, people’s fears of flying are not likely to decrease.

“I am very nervous during take-off and when we are in the air,” said one resident, Zuhra, as she explained her fear of flying.

“I just feel the plane is going to fall and we are all going to die, I don’t know why, but I just feel that way, I get very scared when we are in the air just expecting something bad to happen.”

“Before I fly, I just don’t like to think about it, when it’s a few days before it’s time to travel, or when I am on the way to the airport, I keep the thought of flying out of my mind.”

When pressed on why she has this fear, she couldn’t give a specific reason and explained she just had a bad feeling about flying.

Yunus Choudary, is another resident who suffers from aviophobia, explaining how it physically affects him as well.

‘Sweaty palms’

“I always get sweaty palms and start breathing heavily when the plane is about to take off, even thinking about it now gives me weak legs.”

“I just keep thinking the plane will break down, I always look at the wings of the plane and think they’re going to break off when turbulence hits.”

Even though flying is the safest mode of transport, and with people having a far higher chance of getting killed in car accidents and other forms of transport, this still doesn’t stop people being afraid.

“I think it’s down to the fact that I’m not grounded and I’m 38,000 feet [11,582 metres] in the air, that’s what really scares me, if something was to happen in a plane like an accident, I would fall flat.”

Similar sentiments were shared by Karim Z.

“Dying in a plane is more scarier than dying in a car, a plane descends from the sky until it crashes, and that’s a very frightening experience, so the plane might be safer, but the accident and death is much more scarier.”

— Sami Zaatari is a trainee at Gulf News