No demand rise for one-way tickets – airlines

Mideast airlines say one-way ticket sales are not up, despite rumours of expats exodus.

Demand for one-way tickets from the Middle East has seen little change in recent weeks, local airlines have claimed, despite suggestions that thousands are planning to leave the region.

Arabian Business spoke to four major carriers in the region on Tuesday, all of which reported no recent increase in single fare purchases.

"We do not provide a detailed breakdown on our ticket sales, but we can confirm that the number of one-way tickets being booked out of the region is no different than in previous years – accounting for less than 1% of total bookings," a spokesperson for Dubai-based Emirates said.  

Etihad Airways said it had not experienced any noticeable increase in demand for one-way tickets out of Abu Dhabi, while Royal Jordanian insisted traffic flows were normal.

Meanwhile, a Gulf Air spokesperson also said there was nothing unusual to report for single-fare outbound traffic from Bahrain.

When called by Arabian Business, no one from Qatar Airways was available to comment.

Rising school fees and job losses in the UAE fuelled speculation that thousands of mainly western expatriates would leave the country this summer. In May, removal companies based in the emirate told Arabian Business they were overwhelmed with bookings for June. They also said the number of people relocating to the UAE had fallen dramatically.

The timing coincided with schools breaking up for the summer – a period when many expatriates hit by redundancies were expected to return home.

“The rise of people leaving the country has been on a tremendous scale,” said Jason Tom James, sales manager of ISS Worldwide Movers relocation department.

“Most of the people have lost their jobs. For the month of June we are already full because that’s when the schools close. This year we have seen tremendously large traffic moving out of the country, we can’t accommodate [the flood of business] even with the strength of our staff numbers,” he added.

While the number of western expatriates leaving the region is unknown, Indian authorities claim the economic downturn has seen up to 150,000 of their countrymen return home.  

Vayalar Ravi, minister for overseas Indian affairs, told the country’s lower house this month that delays in construction projects had forced between 50,000 to 150,000 people to go home on unpaid leave. He added that job cuts in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar had taken place.

“Information received from Indian Missions in Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, Brunei, Libya, Jordan and Lebanon indicate that there is no report of Indians affected by the recession,” Ravi was quoted by the Financial Express as saying.

The Indian embassy in the UAE had no precise figures of returnees, but indicated that the number was considerably large, according to the IANS newswire.

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Posted by: Nomad

You may afraid of losing job here in Dubai and afraid of going back to US, where things are worse, you don't want go back to Lebanon either. is that make you do all these Blah Blah comments. By the way, why can't you survive in US with all your Real estate and Air line industry knowledge, also you know lots top guys in the industry personally. call them again and ask for advice. Why you missed Air India and other budget airliners in your Airline research study. if you do, you have to speak the truth, so better ignore are liar and show offer. You didn't see the world, go out and see the real world, there is a World outside DIFC, there is middle class and lower class world, when those middle and lower class lose their job and stop working, your upper class will collapse, so they start barking like you do now. ....oh..about TATA, can you name a completely built a CAR in Lebanon...nothing. right.., read the following from wiki Tata acquisitions and targets * February 2000 - Tetley Tea Company, $407 million * March 2004 - Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company, $102 million * August 2004 - NatSteel's Steel business, $292 million * November 2004 - Tyco Global Network, $130 million * July 2005 - Teleglobe International Holdings, $239 million * October 2005 - Good Earth Corporation * December 2005 - Millennium Steel, Thailand, $167 million * December 2005 - Brunner Mond Chemicals Limited, $120 million * June 2006 - Eight O'Clock Coffee, $220 million * November 2006 - Ritz Carlton Boston, $170 million * Jan 2007 - Corus Group, $12 billion * March 2007 - Bumi Resources, $1.1 billion * April 2007 - Campton Place Hotel, San Francisco, $60 million * February 2008 - General Chemical Industrial Products, $1 billion * March 2008 - Jaguar Cars and Land Rover, $2.3 billion * March 2008 - Serviplem SA, Spain * April 2008 - Comoplesa Lebrero SA, Spain * May 2008 - Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A., Italy * June 2008 - China Enterprise Communications, China * June 2008 - Neotel, South Africa. * October 2008- Miljo Grenland / Innovasjon, Norway * Imacid chemical company, Morocco [18] Out of curious...whats your next we can prepare.

Posted by: trevor hardwik

OmarOmar I have no issues to mentioning your Lebanese American but honestly if you?re so supportive to why you feel so ashamed to proudly reveal your true identity a front page to a PR company recently appointed by Dubai government just be honest and I someone in Dubai feel Beirut is booming and becoming more competitive than Dubai than should be ok since we Lebanese are proud of Dubai being a major hub in EMEA and you should be the same for Beirut. Omar just I have few simple questions do you know any street name in Beirut or the Color of the Lebanese Passport ???

Posted by: Amused

You may keep your mouth shut but the the noise coming from you pounding away at your keyboard must be deafening to anyone in the vicinity.

Posted by: gamby

Brighston?? Omar, I bet your Leb-American friend, VP of Delta, graduate of Northrop University didn't tell you that. Because it will be a total shame to that university. Why you have to detail that?? No wonder you can't get a good job back in the US. You're such a believer of media, my friend in this part of the world don't believe what you read. Are u an airline employee?? bcoz u seem to know about the airline bogus promises. How can you believe of the news that they're increasing flight frequencies when the local airline here is struggling ?? Common sense my friend. And it's Sir Richard Branson not Brighston, Mr. Omar-the Lebanese-American who speak French and hated his own country. Be a bit patriotic at least esp. in this time of crisis. I'm an Asian, my country situation is not that good (well nowadays every country is) our gov't is the same -corrupt...but no way i'm gonna degrade my country esp. my countrymen.

Posted by: Danno

omar is a composite? hmmm, very plausible and clever for whoever thot of that (geriant is it?) why is it that almost everyone on this blog didn't see that? actually the more i read his crap, the more i realized they are different writers. so another PR machine at its best in dubai? a few questions: why does omar know so much about airlines? (i imagine his answer would be he does aviation market research for equity financing or some crap). All of this crap about being guests...not voting or having a say because we are foreigners...etc. well has that been disputed by anyone?? thats just not what this is about. i believe the point 'he' is missing here is that we are simply saying the "facts" and research being delivered is misguided and sometimes misleading (although the intentions of the research is good: a fact finding mission). We have TONS of anecdotal evidence suggesting otherwise. All of this is resulting in lack of transparency. A better informed member of the economy is a better producer, just like a better equipped soldier is a better performer...that's all. No one is being disrespectful, disingenuous, or unpatriotic to the UAE. not on this blog at least.

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