In a report from marketing technology company Sojern, it has been suggested travellers are increasingly optimistic about booking flights to the UAE. Though the government has grounded all flights until early April, flight searches to the UAE for next year have seen a considerable spike.
Sojern noted that travellers from France are showing interest in the Arab country, with a 192% increase in flight searches for 2021. Travellers from Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands are also showing an upward trend in travel interest to the UAE with a year-over-year increase of 31% in January 2021. Russian travellers are showing a very early jump in travel intent to the UAE in September this year with an increase of 87% year-over-year in flight searches.
In the current moment however, flight bookings in the UAE are down 72% year-on-year, with other countries in the region also seeing drops. In Oman flight bookings have dropped by 38% year-on-year, along with a 91% decrease in Kuwait.
The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) most recent assessment of the aviation industry is that it could lose as much as US$252 billion in revenue this year, a 44% drop compared to last year. In the Middle East, it is estimated $19 billion in revenue could be lost.