Passengers Carry Smartphones but opt for Personal Service at Abu Dhabi Airport

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An impressive 84% of passengers at Abu Dhabi International Airport carry a smartphone, according to the latest global survey by air transport IT provider SITA.

Abu Dhabi, December 10, 2013 -(PressReleasePoint)- An impressive 84% of passengers at Abu Dhabi International Airport carry a smartphone, according to the latest global survey by air transport IT provider SITA. The 2013 SITA/Air Transport World Survey conducted at six major airports around the world shows that more passengers at this airport carry smartphones than at any of the other five; the global average is 76%.

But the level of interest and confidence among passengers at Abu Dhabi in using these sophisticated devices throughout the journey is not rising at the same pace. When asked, 77% said that they prefer to go to a counter for service from an agent than to use their phone. The biggest concern these passengers have is the fear that their phone won’t work.

When it comes to check-in, 87% regularly check-in with an agent at a counter at Abu Dhabi, in contrast to the global average of 51%. Almost all, 94%, regularly get their boarding passes at a counter rather than at a kiosk, printing at home or using their mobile.

Ahmad Al Haddabi, Chief Operations Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “With the high level of smartphone ownership among passengers at Abu Dhabi International Airport, there are still opportunities to explore and increase awareness of the potential benefits of using these devices for travel. Abu Dhabi Airports started to introduce mobile services in 2012, with the focus on making the passenger journey easier, and since then, passenger usage has been constantly increasing. Furthermore, the lower usage is a reflection of the regional preference for personal service rather than a mobile or online one, especially amongst the older generations.”

Hani El Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India and Africa, said: “This year’s survey confirms again that passengers at Abu Dhabi International prefer personal service at the time of check-in. However, they are interested in using mobile services, particularly for information about their journey and the location of their baggage. Smartphones offer the ability to provide these ‘always-connected’ travellers with relevant information and updates at the airport and throughout their journey.”

SITA’s survey shows that Abu Dhabi passengers are very keen to use their mobiles for in-flight services. Access to entertainment is the most popular use, with 94% saying they would use this service in contrast to the global average of 85%. Around two-thirds are also interested in in-flight access to emails, flight information and phone calls.

These key findings are from the eighth annual SITA/ATW Passenger IT Trends Survey, carried out with a sample of the 299 million passengers who pass through six of the world's leading airport hubs: Abu Dhabi International; Beijing Capital International; Chhatrapati Shivaji International, Mumbai; Frankfurt International; GRU Sao Paulo International and Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta.

The survey included 2,489 passengers from more than 70 countries. Those surveyed comprised a mix of business and leisure travelers, and occasional and frequent flyers at all locations.

For further information (not for publication) contact:

Brenda Flinter
Media Relations Manager
Mobile: +353 87 750 6229

Charlie Pryor
Tel : +44 (0)20 7031 8270
Email :
Skype: LEIDAR_Charlie

SITA  (Regional Contact)
Natasha Georgiev
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 676 0429
Active Public Relations & Marketing Communications Consultancy
Ana-Maria Gardiner
Tel: (971-4) 4461434

Notes to Editors:

About SITA:
SITA is the world's leading specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions. SITA delivers and manages business solutions for airline, airport, GDS, government and other customers over the world’s most extensive network, which forms the communications backbone of the global air transport industry.

SITA’s portfolio includes managed global communications, infrastructure and outsourcing services, as well as services for airline commercial management and passenger operations, flight operations, aircraft operations and air-to-ground communications, airport management and operations, baggage operations, transportation security and border management, cargo operations and more.

With a customer service team of over 2,000 staff around the world, SITA invests significantly in achieving best-in-class customer service, providing integrated local and global support for both its communications and IT application services.

SITA has two main subsidiaries: OnAir, which is the leading provider of in-flight connectivity, and CHAMP Cargosystems, the world's only IT company dedicated solely to air cargo. SITA also operates a joint venture Aviareto which provides aircraft asset management to the air transport community.

SITA is one of the world's most international companies. Its global reach is based on local presence, with services for around 450 air transport industry members and 2,800 customers in over 200 countries and territories. Set up in 1949 with 11 member airlines, SITA today employs people of more than 140 nationalities, speaking over 70 different languages. SITA had consolidated revenues of US$1.57 billion in 2012.

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