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Behind the curtain… Air charter services in the UAE

Behind the curtain… Air charter services in the UAE

Gulf Business speaks to Seawings commercial manager Mithu Agarwal

Are air charter services gaining popularity in the United Arab Emirates?

“Air charter services have been an integral part of air travel for many years in the Gulf Cooperation Council region. It is popular for business travel and there are an increasing number of individuals chartering aircraft across the region.”

Does the industry see greater demand from residents or tourists in the UAE?

“Luxury travel is now affordable and no longer limited to the elite circle of society. Add to this the convenience and a flexible travel schedule and it is certainly attractive.

“Besides fulfilling business schedule requirements, individuals now see greater value in group travel and subscribe to these charter services with increasing frequency.

“In recent years, the UAE has emerged as one of the top destinations worldwide and the influx of tourists has been incredible. Residents are also now looking at short vacations, or staycations within neighbouring countries, adding to the growing demand for these services.”

Has the recent slump in market conditions reduced demand for charter services?

“Demand for charter services has seen little impact from the recent conditions. The discerning business or leisure traveller still prefers to charter aircraft for the sake of convenience, privacy and luxury.”

What are the biggest challenges that operators face?

“Identifying new routes, finalising logistics and ensuring commercial success.”

Lastly, where do you see the air charter services industry headed?

“We are on the way to embracing charter services as a regular means of transport in the very near future. More and more people will resort to this mode of transport for flexibility, ease, comfort, to avoid airport queues and travel on their own schedule.”

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