A recent travel survey conducted by YouGov Siraj has revealed that low-cost carriers (LCCs) have changed the travel habits of UAE residents.

Of the 750 respondents interviewed by YouGov Siraj, 69 per cent travel more frequently due to the availability of low-cost carriers in the region, 63 per cent have used LCCs for leisure travel in the past two years and 60 per cent of the non LCC travelers are interested in traveling on low-cost carriers in the future.

The survey also reveals that the main factors that determine UAE residents’ travel plans are low fares, convenience (flight timings, airport location) and destination of choice.

Air Arabia, the first and largest LCC with a destination network of 65 routes from three hubs in Sharjah, UAE, Casablanca, Morocco, and Alexandria, Egypt, was voted most popular among all demographics, with a 65 per cent majority among Sharjah residents, 51 per cent in Abu Dhabi and 49 per cent in Dubai.

Commenting on the survey results, Adel Ali, Group CEO and Board Member, Air Arabia said: “Air Arabia introduced low-cost airlines to the region in October 2003, during a time when luxury travel was emphasised, and since then, the concept of budget travel has gone from strength to strength”.

“Seven years later, we are pleased to learn that Air Arabia is the LCC of choice to most UAE residents who have used LCCs for leisure travel and are benefiting from the competitive fares LCCs offers” he concluded.

“This recent survey testifies that low-cost airlines have redefined the way residents and visitors travel in the Middle East” said Nalini Pippara, Senior Research Associate, YouGovSiraj. “YouGovSiraj offers the best research methodologies, whether it is qualitative, quantitative, online or offline. In our analysis we always strive to get away from stereotypes, to challenge our own thinking and avoid preconceived ideas, in a constant quest for greater knowledge”.

Marking the airline’s and the LCC industry seventh anniversary – Air Arabia milestone achievements remain in changing the whole air travel philosophy in this region as well as creating a niche market for intra-regional air transport.