Aviation

New study reveals air travellers’ top concerns

A fresh round of research from aviation’s peak body has reiterated willingness to travel is being tempered by concerns over the risks of COVID-19 exposure.

From a surveyed pool of more than 4,700 travellers, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) found key information it expects will assist in aviation’s restart plans.

According to the research, travellers are taking precautions to protect themselves from COVID-19, with 77 per cent of travellers saying that they are washing their hands more frequently, 71 per cent avoiding large meetings, and 67 per cent having worn a facemask in public.

Some 58 per cent of those surveyed said that they have avoided air travel, with 33 per cent suggesting that they will avoid travel in future as a continued measure to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19.

Travellers identified their top concerns before boarding as being in a crowded bus or train on the way to their aircraft (59 per cent); queuing at check-in, security, border control or boarding (42 per cent); and using airport restrooms or toilet facilities (38 per cent).

The top concerns for travellers once on board aircraft are the potential to sit next to someone who might be infected (65 per cent); using aircraft restrooms or toilet facilities (42 per cent); and breathing the air on the plane (37 per cent).

From the findings, IATA said it was clear that travellers have not made up their minds about cabin air quality.

While 57 per cent of travellers believed that air quality is dangerous, 55 per cent also responded that they understood that it was as clean as the air in a hospital operating theatre.

“The quality of air in modern aircraft is, in fact, far better than most other enclosed environments,” IATA said.

“It is exchanged with fresh air every 2–3 minutes, whereas the air in most office buildings is exchanged two to three times per hour.”

IATA maintains the high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters used on modern aircraft capture “well over” 99.9 per cent of germs, and said this extends to the coronavirus.

When asked to rank the top three measures that would make them feel safer, 37 per cent of travellers cited COVID-19 screening at departure airports, 34 per cent agreed with mandatory wearing of facemasks and 33 per cent noted social distancing measures on aircraft.

Passengers have also shown a willingness to play a role in keeping flying safe by undergoing temperature checks (43 per cent), wearing a mask during travel (42 per cent), and checking-in online to minimise interactions at the airport (40 per cent).

Furthermore, travellers are also willing to take a COVID-19 test prior to travel (39 per cent), and sanitise their seating area (38 per cent).

While nearly half of those surveyed (45 per cent) indicated they would return to travel within a few months of the pandemic subsiding, this is a significant drop from the 61 per cent recorded in IATA’s April survey.

Overall, the survey results demonstrate that people have not lost their taste for travel, but there are blockers to returning to pre-crisis levels of travel, IATA said.

A majority of travellers surveyed plan to return to travel to see family and friends (57 per cent), to vacation (56 per cent) or to do business (55 per cent) as soon as possible after the pandemic subsides.

However, 66 per cent said that they would travel less for leisure and business in the post-pandemic world, and 64 per cent indicated they would postpone travel until personal and broader economic factors improved.


Featured image source: iStock/kokouu

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Destinations

Former Tourism Australia country manager resurfaces at Visit Sunshine Coast

Jenny Aitken hasn’t wasted much time finding a new role since her recent exit from Tourism Australia, unless you count her daytime Netflix bingeing.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Tigerair scratched, thousands of jobs cut and a simplified fleet: Virgin Australia’s six-point blueprint for success

Have you been wondering what the hell Virgin and its future owner have been up to as the administration process nears the finish line? All is revealed here.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Gun-toting hotel guest fires ‘warning shots’ after telling guests off for not social distancing

The coronavirus pandemic has unearthed some absolute crazies. On one end of the spectrum, you have Bunnings Karen; on the other end, you have this guy.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Aussie travel insurance market forecast to shrink due to international restrictions

It appears Australia’s travel insurance providers are set to suffer from shrinkage in the coming months due to COVID-19.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Lobby groups seeks travel agent information in push for government funding

A travel industry lobby group has put a call out to agents who wish to be part of a renewed push for financial support from the federal government.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise Wrap: MSC reveals new health and safety protocol, PONANT to resume Arctic expeditions + MORE

Do your clients want to get as far away from their home offices as humanly possible? Perhaps a jaunt to the Arctic will suffice?

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Auckland Airport’s international terminal to be split in two ahead of Cook Islands travel ‘bubble’

by Christian Fleetwood

The proposed travel ‘bubble’ between New Zealand and the Cook Islands has taken a giant leap forward, as Australia watches on with envy.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Queensland to close border to NSW and ACT

by Christian Fleetwood

You could just sense it was about to happen and, sure enough, Annastacia Palaszcuzk has announced more border restrictions.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Booking.com to axe 25 per cent of workforce

by Huntley Mitchell

It’s sad news for Booking.com staff today, with the OTA forced to cull its headcount as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Club Med’s Neryl Chambers

This week we chat with Club Med’s business development executive to get some cooking tips for her famous pumpkin soup. Then we gave up and ordered Uber Eats.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Border Force slams claims it misread COVID-19 tests on Ruby Princess

by Ali Coulton

The ABF has quashed claims that one of its officers misread Ruby Princess’ COVID-19 results, leading to the ship’s infamous outbreak.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aviation Wrap: Virgin Australia changes mask advice, Alliance expands fleet + MORE

Travel Weekly’s reporter attempted to match his espresso intake with the number of stories in this wrap. He’ll be opting for decaf next time around.

Share

CommentComments