The Gulf region has registered an incline in inbound flights from Eastern European countries in 2017 when compared to 2016, as reported by Arabian Business, according to figures from travel website Skyscanner.
The study showed that December was the most popular month for travellers to come to the region.
Bulgaria showed the biggest increase of 68%, followed by Serbia with 43%, Romania with 41%, while Slovenia, Russia, and Poland registered a rise of 30%, 24%, and 23%, respectively.
“Other European countries such as and Croatia, Finland, Estonia and Latvia have seen increases of 23%, 17%, 10% and 8% respectively. Azerbaijan, which falls between Europe and Asia, also saw a 19% rise,” Arabian Business said.
Africa countries, including Uganda, Ghana, Egypt, and Nigeria saw 29%, 28%, 25%, and 15% surges, respectively, in flights in that order.
“Flights from Asian countries Indonesia and Hong Kong climbed 21% and 18% respectively, followed by the Philippines and China at 6% and 5%,’ it added.
Lebanon saw a 12% hike in flights to the Gulf region.
“The average stay for Skyscanner customers visiting the GCC is 10 days, with the busiest day for travel in regional airports was June 22, which marked Islamic holiday Eid Al Fitr,” Arabian Business said.
It added that the most popular destinations for outbound flights from the GCC in 2017 were India, Egypt, Philippines, Pakistan, Turkey, UK, UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.
Skyscanner showed that the busiest day for flight bookings was 7 August 2017.
On average, GCC travellers go on holiday for 14 days a year, with the average flight price in 2017 from GCC countries to all destinations falling by 7% to AED1,898 compared to 2016.
“As for the most popular GCC departure cities in 2017, they were Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Kuwait, Mecca, Dammam, Bahrain, Sharjah and Oman respectively. The most popular for inbound travel were Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Mecca, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Riyadh, Medina and Sharjah,” Arabian Business added, according to Skyscanner.