Nine out of ten UAE residents and citizens will change their flying habits and routines even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, according to the results of an extensive new global airline survey commissioned by global mobile satellite communications specialist, Inmarsat,

The ‘Passenger Confidence Tracker’, the largest global survey of air passengers since the Coronavirus crisis began, reflects the views and attitudes about the future of flying of 9,500 respondents from 12 countries across the world, including more than 500 UAE-based passengers.

The research reveals UAE travellers are keen to return to the skies in the near future, but would do so more confidently if certain measures were applied during their journey.

UAE passengers surveyed said they were now more concerned about having to quarantine (53%) than the risk of catching the virus on the plane or while abroad (48%).

They were also concerned about unpredictable border closures, with 48% saying it would stop them from travelling, while more than a quarter (28%) of those surveyed said they would now only fly with airlines they trust.

Although UAE and global passengers were expecting to travel less in general, the ‘Passenger Confidence Tracker’ revealed almost half (47%) of all passengers expected to feel ready to fly before April 2021 and in the UAE, three in five passengers said they would be confident flying within the next six months.

The survey found UAE flyers were mostly concerned about in-flight touchpoints such as being served a meal or visiting the aircraft toilet and therefore identified several actions airlines could take to improve the experience.

They included priority boarding, in-flight Wi-Fi, contactless in-flight payments, pre-ordered contactless catering and a toilet queuing/booking app.