Travel habits of 93pc-air travellers in APAC have changed, study finds

_A Monitor Report 16 Nov, 2020 | 398 Views|-+
Singapore : Flying habits are set to change drastically for the long-term, with nine in ten airline passengers (93 per cent) from the Asia Pacific (APAC) region surveyed not expecting to return to their previous travel routines once the COVID19 pandemic is over.

This is just one of the key findings from a new global passenger survey commissioned by Inmarsat, a leader in global mobile satellite communications. The 'Passenger Confidence Tracker' reflects the views and attitudes of 9,500 respondents across the globe about the future of flying, including 2,500 from Singapore, Australia, South Korea and India in the APAC region.

The survey revealed that APAC passengers adopt a particularly cautious attitude towards COVID19, with 57 per cent of those surveyed describing their behaviour towards the pandemic as 'highly cautious', compared to 48 per cent globally.

The pandemic also seems to have sparked a shift in attitudes to travel in Asia, where almost half (49 per cent) of respondents expect to travel less by any means and 37 per cent plan to fly less in the future. This sentiment is even stronger in India and South Korea, with 58 per cent and 55 per cent surveyed planning to travel less in the future respectively.

Despite this, there are early signs that APAC travellers are starting to feel confident about flying again. Passengers in the region are more likely than the global average to have flown since the pandemic began: 41 per cent of APAC respondents - and as much as 56 per cent of Indian respondents - have taken at least one flight since the pandemic reached their countries, compared to just 34 per cent globally. The majority (60 per cent) of APAC passengers surveyed expect to feel fully ready to fly within the next year.

When asked to rate their confidence around the safety and health precautions currently undertaken across all touchpoints throughout the journey, APAC respondents recorded an aggregated score of 6.27 (out of 10, with 10 being the highest level of confidence), higher than the global average score of 5.55.

When asked to identify the most effective personal safety measures, passengers identified wearing a face mask both inflight and in airports, and only being allowed to fly after a 48-hour test. Notably, only 10 per cent identified a 14-day quarantine as a top factor.

While the majority of APAC passengers (65 per cent) surveyed feel satisfied with the aviation industry's response to the challenges of COVID-19, the survey reveals areas of opportunity for airlines to encourage passengers back to the skies.

Almost half (48 per cent) of APAC respondents believe that reputation is more significant factor when choosing an airline today than it was pre-pandemic. It has therefore never been more vital for airlines to differentiate and gain a competitive edge. The research highlights that improving inflight experience is one way to achieve this. From extra legroom (44 per cent) to free baggage (36 per cent), value added services are becoming increasingly important to passengers returning to the skies. Digital solutions are fast-becoming essential to an enjoyable inflight experience, with four in ten (40 per cent) of respondents agreeing that on-board Wi-Fi matters more today than ever before.

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