Inmarsat, unveiled the Asia Pacific (APAC) findings of its Passenger Confidence Tracker 2021.The research reveals that 91% of APAC airline passengers acknowledged that the pandemic has changed their long-term travel habits, consistent with last year’s survey results. However, over half (51%) would be confident to fly by the end of the year and 20% would happily catch a flight in the next month.
Amongst Indian respondents, 63% are confident of taking their next flight in the next six months, despite being among the most cautious passengers in the world (78%), significantly higher than the UK (25%) and Australia (33%). In terms of what could airlines and the travel industry do to make them feel more confident about flying, 68% of Indian passengers believed mandatory proof of vaccination for all passengers would be key, whereas 65% also expressed a preference for all airlines to follow the same hygiene practices.
Air travel has undoubtedly faced a significant impact from the challenges of the past 18 months, as uncertainty around travel restrictions and quarantines have thrown holidays and business trips up in the air. However, when it comes to COVID-19 concerns, APAC passengers view some everyday experiences as riskier than air travel. A significant 32% of APAC passengers are less confident getting on the bus or coach than taking a flight, while 32% of passengers felt the metro or underground was risker than flying.
David Coiley, Inmarsat Aviation’s Regional Vice President for Asia Pacific, said, “Since the start of the pandemic, the aviation industry has dealt with challenge after challenge. However, airlines have once again shown their resilience and stepped up to those challenges. Our latest Passenger Confidence Tracker reveals that travellers in Asia Pacific are the most confident towards pragmatic steps for travel and have positive attitudes about returning to the skies. With safety and reputation becoming even more important to today’s flyers, there is a pressing need for airlines to embrace new opportunities and differentiate themselves to encourage passengers back onto their flights as travel continues to resume.”
Despite the optimistic outlook, concerns regarding flying continue and primarily centre on the inconvenience and unpredictability of air travel. The research reveals the unpredictability of flying and the seemingly huge variation in rules and regulations is hampering confidence towards post-pandemic air travel in India the most. Quarantining and catching the virus abroad (both 54%) remain the main worries, among other reasons, that prevent Indians from travelling abroad.