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The World Finds Its Wings Again as 60% of Airline Passengers Are Happy to Fly by End of the Year, but Barriers Remain

Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, today unveiled the findings of its Passenger Confidence Tracker 2021, the largest and most comprehensive global survey of airline passengers since the pandemic began. The results show that confidence in air travel is rising, with 60% of passengers feeling happy to fly by the end of the year, compared to only 47% last year.

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“A digital transformation was already underway in the aviation industry, but the pandemic has undoubtedly fast-tracked its implementation”

Airlines will also be reassured that the number of passengers who expect to travel less frequently has dropped by 6% in comparison to Inmarsat’s 2020 Passenger Confidence Tracker*. However, with 84% of respondents believing their travel habits are likely to change post pandemic, the onus is firmly on airlines to ensure their service offering keeps pace with the evolving requirements of passengers.

Passenger confidence levels on the rise

In total, 60% say they would happily take to the skies by the end of the year, with air passengers in Greece the most confident about flying with an airline today (29%), followed by Australians and Brazilians (both 20%). Interestingly, actually taking a flight improves the confidence of airline passengers towards health and safety issues by 20%, showing that the experience of flying is very reassuring.

When it comes to COVID concerns, one in three people (37%) felt less confident taking a bus or coach compared to a flight. This was highest for passengers in Brazil (70%), India (48%) and UAE (42%). Globally, 40% of passengers felt the metro or underground was riskier than flying.

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Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “There is no denying that the past 18 months has been a turbulent time for airlines and passengers alike. However, the latest International Air Transport Association (IATA) figures show that demand for both international and domestic travel is gaining significant momentum. In order to maintain and even accelerate this growth, it’s essential to rebuild passenger confidence and ensure their evolving needs are met in a post COVID world.

“Our latest Passenger Confidence Tracker, the largest global survey that Inmarsat Aviation has ever commissioned, offers detailed insights into the main areas of confidence and concern around air travel, direct from the passengers themselves. Such findings will allow airlines to increase their focus on key priorities and seize the exciting opportunities ahead as the industry continues its long-term recovery.”

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