International travel restrictions, country-wide lockdowns, and holiday cancellations brought about by COVID-19 have heavily impacted the airline industry.
Despite drastic reductions in air travel which lead to heavy financial consequences, airlines kept in touch with their audience to support, inform, educate and connect while tuning their voice from a commercial to a human-centric approach.
Here we look at the ways airlines in the Middle East have responded to the pandemic as it has unfolded.
As travel restrictions were introduced stories emerged on Twitter of people left stranded far from home.
Using an Image Tweet, @qatarairways informed its audience that it has kept key routes open to enable travelers to get back to their loved ones.
The spread of COVID-19 disrupted travel plans on a mass scale, as people were left unsure about when they could travel. Airlines showed they understood, by offering passengers more flexible options to change their plans.
@qatarairways enabled customers to change their travel dates free of charge.
@Saudi_Airlines waived cancellation and rebooking fees, and kept tickets open for when it is safe to fly again.
With most air travel suspended, it became even more difficult to get necessary medical supplies to frontline workers.
@emirates stepped up, providing flights to transport urgent medical supplies to where they were needed most.
As international travel resumes, passengers must now adapt to the new realities of air travel. Again, Twitter is the place for airlines to educate passengers and put travellers’ minds at ease about their upcoming trip.
Personal hygiene kits are the new norm, as demonstrated by @emirates.
@emirates is in the process of resuming flights to some select 50 destinations by July. As part of the resumption, the airline published a video focused on ‘reassurance messaging’ and what ‘Fly Better’ would mean to customers in the post-COVID period.
COVID-19 has highlighted the incredible adaptability of airlines in terms of reaction and messaging to keep customers on board. With Twitter, they have been able to respond to, reassure, connect with and, ultimately, keep travellers safe.