60% of Mena residents plan air travel in next 3 months

Air travel remains largely suspended in the UAE and wider region due to covid-19

  
Passengers arrive for check-in at terminal one of Dubai Airports in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 26, 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Passengers arrive for check-in at terminal one of Dubai Airports in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 26, 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/ Hamad I Mohammed

Around 60 per cent of people in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region plan to travel once domestic and international flights resume, according to a survey by online travel marketplace Wego.

Among the respondents, 40 per cent are eager to book a relaxing getaway as soon as the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted while the majority of respondents are planning to travel within the next three months.

"The coronavirus has reshaped the travel industry scene in the world. Most countries in Mena are introducing precautionary measures to curb the outspread of the virus and revive the industry. As a result, we will see an increase in the demand for intra-regional travel in the region," said Mamoun Hmedan, managing director for Mena and India at Wego.

Air travel remains largely suspended in the UAE and wider region due to covid-19. However, some UAE carriers have started operating regular flights with strict social distance and safety measures in place. Emirates restarted regular flights from May 21 to nine destinations while Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is also operating regular flights to certain destinations. These flights are in addition to special flights being operated by the local carriers.

Technological innovation and significant precautionary measures being taken by the GCC national carriers will give reassurance for travellers to resume their travel both at domestic and international level.

"Even in times of prolonged uncertainty, we maintain an optimistic mindset and this survey is a true testament that 60 per cent of people have travel plans in the next couple of months. Family trips and flights to visit the family back home ranked the second preferred journey for travellers once measures are relaxed, with 26 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively," added Mamoun.

Looking at the Mena region, Wego expects an increase in Egypt's domestic travel in the coming months following the ease of travel restrictions and the safety measures followed by the hotels in the country.
-waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com

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