Home » Aviation, Breaking News » 70% of travelers plan to fly internationally within 6 months—survey

A survey of global travelers found that overall fears about catching COVID-19 while flying are “tepid,” and that most consumers are open to air travel.

OAG surveyed over 4,000 global users of its Flightview travel app and asked them to rate their fear on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not concerned with catching the virus while traveling and 10 being very concerned.

Results found that 52% of respondents rated their fear level at 5 or below, and only 32% said it was an 8 or higher, said OAG, a global provider of digital flight information, intelligence and analytics.

Since the start of the year, the coronavirus has devastated the aviation and travel market, causing consistent and severe capacity cuts week after week. Globally, overall capacity is down nearly 50 million seats or 47%.

Key survey findings showed that 69% of global travelers intend to fly internationally within the next six months, while 79% have plans for domestic air travel.

By region, 73% of travelers in North America (NAM) plan to fly internationally over the next six months, and 81% plan to fly domestically. In Europe, 63% intend to fly abroad and 73% domestically, while in the Asia-Pacific (APAC), 55% plan to travel internationally while 78% have domestic travel plans.

Furthermore, nearly a third of travelers have not adjusted their travel habits—and don’t plan to—as a result of the virus. For those that are adjusting their habits, 37% will fly if it’s critical; 25% will fly directly and avoid using connecting flights and airports; and 10% will fly during off-peak times.

The eagerness to travel is more apparent among millennials and Gen-Z. Both generations are less apt to make travel adjustments and more eager to travel domestically in the next six months compared to their worldwide counterparts (84% vs. 79%).

They are also less likely to adjust their travel plans and behavior in light of the virus (66% vs. 70%), and are also slightly less concerned that they will catch coronavirus while traveling (with 56% rating their fear level at 5 or below and only 28% saying it’s an 8 or higher).

The survey outcome showed that consumers are most afraid of catching the coronavirus while on the plane (40%), followed by airport terminals (17%). About 76% of travelers agreed that mask mandates are the most effective safety measure airlines and airports can implement, followed by improved cleaning procedures.

Additionally, more than half of travelers (53%) said it would be valuable to see rates of COVID-19 transmissions at their intended destination when booking. Results are similar across regions:

  • APAC: 65% see it as very valuable or valuable
  • Europe: 68% see it as very valuable or valuable
  • NAM: 47% see it as very valuable or valuable

As the industry recovers, direct flights and domestic travel will become even more popular. Airline and tourism companies can potentially boost passenger levels by focusing their efforts around these trends, OAG said.

The report urged the industry to build consumer confidence through “more aggressively communicating to travelers what it is doing to ensure flying is safe.”

The OAG Global Traveler Sentiment Survey took place between July and August 2020.

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

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