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Budget airlines soar above traditional carriers for online buyers in the Middle-East

Middle East low-cost carriers are soaring higher than traditional airlines according to new research looking at online habits of travel consumers. Research by region’s leading content marketing company, Sekari, shows that in the Middle East, budget flights have become the main priority online, in the UAE 57% of searches in English are looking for low-cost air fares.

The research also looks at the languages used online and finds marked differences in activity of English, Arabic and French searches.

“Low-cost airlines are thriving in the Middle East and our research into online behaviour shows they are gaining altitude over traditional carriers. As the Middle East emerges as a global aviation hub, and with IATA reporting a record growth from US$1.6 billion profit in 2013 to US$2.4 billion in 2014 in this region, understanding what consumers are looking for is crucial.” says Lee Mancini, Managing Director of Sekari.

Sekari’s research is set out in an infographic, which details the online behaviour of travellers in to the Middle East and also those wishing to travel to the region. The infographic shows which cities are most sought after, the top search terms, types of travel looked at, and also the languages being used online. The research finds that whilst English searches focus on bargain travel, Arabic users are more interested in full packages and tours, with French speakers split between budget and traditional carriers.

Explaining the relevance of the research, Mancini adds, “As online spending in the MENA region is projected to grow from $9bn in 2012 to $15bn by 2015, travel remains the biggest item bought online, with an average $1,521 spent each year per person. Knowing what people search for, and in which languages, helps paint an accurate picture of the highly-competitive online marketplace. Airlines, both budget and legacy carries, need to take heed of these findings. Our research is highly timely as airlines could see further turbulence if the travel industry is rocked by falling oil prices. Knowing what your passenger is looking for will help keep savvy carriers flying high.”