May 14, 2007

Qatar Airways ranks third in UAE, Saudi poll

(MENAFN - The Peninsula) DOHA � Qatar Airways ranked third in a survey of UAE and Saudi travellers behind Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways conducted by Maktoob Research, the full-service online research unit of

The survey, titled the 'TravelMonitor Study', was conducted in February 2007. The online study canvassed the opinions of 1,000 UAE and Saudi adult residents who have taken flights over the past 12 months. It covered topics ranging from travel preferences and trends, customer satisfaction levels and customer needs in both the airline and hospitality sectors.

Emirates set the benchmark in the region in terms of overall customer satisfaction with rival airlines not far behind, a Maktoob release said yesterday.

Emirates scored highest with 8.5 on a 10-point scale in overall satisfaction among Saudi and UAE travellers. However, while Emirates was the clear winner in Saudi Arabia, it received some stiff competition on its home turf from Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, which tied Emirates for the top honours among UAE travelers with 8.5 on a 10-point scale. Qatar Airways came in third with 7.9 points.

Although Emirates had an edge over its competitors in categories such as 'customer-focus', 'distinctive style', 'efficiency', 'innovation', and 'suiting business travelers', it was also rated the 'most expensive' airline.

Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways showed some major gains among UAE travelers when it came to various customer perception factors. They were also tied with low-fare carrier Air Arabia as 'very reasonable' when it came to price perception.

When it came to comfort, family friendliness, and value for money, UAE travelers gave the nod to Etihad Airways which scored 4.3, 4.3 and four respectively on a five-point scale. Etihad and Emirates tied for first place as the most reliable airlines with 4.3 on a five-point scale, with Qatar Airways not far behind with a score of 3.9.

Among Saudi-based airlines, the national carrier, Saudi Arabian Airlines, enjoyed the highest votes in the brand awareness category with 79 per cent. Significantly, it received the least number of votes (three on a five-point scale) in the 'value-for-money' category. The study also assessed customer satisfaction across various categories for Business Class, First Class and frequent flyers.


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