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Gulf carriers see exponential growth of first and business class passenger volumes in 2015

Between 2014 and 2015, first class passenger volumes for Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways on the top 10 Origins & Destinations between Europe and Asia Pacific increased 67%, whilst business class traffic increased by 47%.

This staggering growth in premium classes was complemented by healthy overall growth, with a 7% increase in passenger volumes across all cabin classes for these routes.  

Airports in the Middle East also noticed a shift in traveller habits: passenger traffic for flights between Europe and APAC going through Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai increased by 8%.  

This data was analysed by Amadeus IT Group’s Travel Intelligence team, and takes into account all bookings in the Amadeus system made via traditional and online travel agencies from across the globe. The figures come on the heels of Emirates and Etihad Airways both renewing their distribution agreements to sell their full range of fares to travellers worldwide through travel agents using Amadeus. Qatar Airways has had such an agreement in place since 2014.  

“Travellers, especially premium passengers, want the freedom to shop for travel where they want and how they want. Airlines are responding to their customers’ needs by making their comprehensive offering available consistently across sales channels. This helps build and nurture customer relationships and is very much in line with Emirates’, Qatar Airways’ and Etihad Airways’ commitment to customer service excellence,” says Gianni Pisanello, ‎Strategic Marketing Director, Airline Distribution at Amadeus.

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