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Wed 3 Aug 2016 10:09 AM

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Gulf carriers record high growth in 'premium' passengers

First class volumes up by 67 percent, business class 47 percent on Europe-Asia Pacific routes

Gulf carriers record high growth in 'premium' passengers
(Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)

The three main Gulf carriers saw substantial growth in first and business class passenger volumes on routes between Europe and Asia Pacific between 2014 and 2015, new research reveals.

First class passenger volumes for Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways on the top 10 routes between Europe and Asia Pacific increased by 67 percent, according to travel bookings agent Amadeus, while business class traffic increased by 47 percent.

The growth in premium classes was complemented by “healthy” overall growth, with a 7 percent increase in passenger volumes recorded across all cabin classes for the same routes, Amadeus said.

Meanwhile, Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi airports registered a combined 8 percent increase in transit traffic for flights between Europe and Asia Pacific across all travel classes.

Amadeus highlighted the 10 strongest routes from Europe to Asia Pacific in 2015, with Frankfurt to Bangkok coming top followed by London to Bangkok, then London to Delhi.

Bangkok was overall the most popular destination, with five of the top 10 routes terminating there. Munich to Bangkok was ranked seventh, Amsterdam to Bangkok ninth and Paris to Bangkok tenth.

Gianni Pisanello, ‎strategic marketing director, airline distribution, at Amadeus, said: “Travellers, especially premium passengers, want the freedom to shop for travel where they want and how they want.

“Airlines are responding to their customers’ needs by making their comprehensive offering available consistently across sales channels. This helps build and nurture customer relationships and is very much in line with Emirates’, Qatar Airways’ and Etihad Airways’ commitment to customer service excellence.”

Amadeus generated 505 million air bookings in 2015 for a total of 747.3 million passengers. The data was compiled by its travel intelligence department.

The top ten most popular Origins & Destinations between Europe and APAC*

1. Frankfurt - Bangkok

2. London - Bangkok

3. London - Delhi

4. London - Mumbai

5. Paris - Tokyo

6. Paris - Seoul

7. Munich - Bangkok

8. London - Hong Kong

9. Amsterdam - Bangkok

10. Paris - Bangkok

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