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Business and first class traffic soaring for Middle East carriers

A study conducted recently has said that first class and business class traffic is soaring for leading Middle East carriers such as Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways. According to the study, the flight bookings made between 2014 and 2015 for top 10 destinations and origins between Asia Pacific and Europe had significantly increased for the three Gulf carriers. The bookings in first class witnessed an increase of 67 percent, and for business class flights there was a 47 percent increase.

GDS group Amadeus analyzed the booking data. The study further pointed out that the tremendous increase in premium bookings was remarkably complemented by an overall healthy growth, thus registering a 7 percent rise in passenger volumes on the routes between Europe and Asia Pacific across all cabin classes. The study took into account all the premium bookings made through both traditional as well as online travel agencies across the world. The analyzed data includes for both one way and roundtrip bookings.

Maher Koubaa, VP for Middle East and North Africa, Airline Distribution & IT at Amadeus, said, “The trend in luxury travel is growing. This is solely because of the fact that Asia-Pacific region is currently witnessing a positive economic environment, which has as a result significantly contributed to the huge growth in premium traffic.”

Koubaa said that the macro-economic growth in the APAC region might be proving to be a catalyst in the luxury travel trend. The new growth is being mostly seen from the markets such as South East Asia, Thailand and India. The carriers from Middle East are in fact going out of way and doing everything possible with innovative products and services for capturing the growing trend of luxury travel. According to Koubaa, the luxury travel trend will continue to grow through 2016 and beyond, despite some likely “softness” in the trends because of global economic issues.

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