Report: Optimism around regional travel grows

Looking ahead to January next year, flight searches in the Middle East continue to grow

Regional flight searches in Saudi grow by 38.1% looking at later months in 2020
Regional flight searches in Saudi grow by 38.1% looking at later months in 2020

In a report from travel marketing solutions company Sojern, the impact of travel restrictions on flight bookings have been revealed. The data noted that looking ahead to later in the year and into 2021, optimism is shown around booking regional holidays.

Looking at regional travel searches made in the last 28 days within the Middle East, Sojern recorded a positive growth trend in a handful of countries. Though the rates are still below the average in 2019, they register an increase.  

In Kuwait, flight searches by the end of March were down by 91.3% but steadily increase by 18.9% later in the year. Similarly, regional flight searches in Saudi grow by 38.1% and in the UAE it grows by 18.7% for later months.

As of March 31 of this year, flight bookings in the UAE have dropped by 87% year-over-year, including a 15% dropped compared to one week before March 31.  The data shows a similar trend for both Turkey and Egypt which show year-over-year declines in global bookings of 89% and 85% respectively.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that airlines in the region could lose out on as much as $19 billion in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus.

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