ILARIA GRASSO MACOLA, cityam.com
Confidence in aviation has come back in full force, as the majority of global travellers feel safe flying again.
Figures from Inmarsat’s latest passenger experience survey, which was published today, show that 83 per cent of world passengers are optimistic about air travel.
This is 73 per cent up on last year’s levels.
Brazilians and Saudis are the most confident, with 90 per cent of respondents feeling good about flying, while the UK was slightly below average at 81 per cent.
Britons have in fact experienced significant travel chaos over the summer, as thousands were left stranded due to travel delays and cancellations.
The situation led to a blame game between airlines and airports, with each side criticising the other for the disruption.
Just last week, Heathrow created a new executive position to mend fences with its airline customers, appointing director of operations Kathryn Leahy as director of Team Heathrow.
Commenting on the data, Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association (AOA), said: “As we continue to rebuild from the pandemic our airports focus remains ensuring that passengers have confidence in air travel, and we are committed to working with our partners across the aviation industry and the government to achieve this.”
The comments were echoed by Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of the Advantage Travel Partnership, who said the industry remained optimistic.
Talking to City A.M., Inmarsat Aviation’s boss Niels Steenstrup said it was great to see the industry back.
“Business is good and it’s strong and our airline partners are seeing the same I believe, so it’s an exciting time and it’s nice to be back,” he said.
According to the chief executive, airlines should continue to capitalise by improving their Wi-Fi offer as 77 per cent of respondents consider having internet access important.
This is up from 55 per cent in 2018.
“Reliable Wi-Fi is undoubtedly fundamental to an excellent passenger experience,” he added.
“Giving passengers the flying experience they want and focusing on providing quality Wi-Fi for those who want to work or play while onboard, will be the gift that keeps on giving for passengers and for airlines.”
Steenstrup said that airlines will increasingly be tempted to offer free Wi-Fi aboard their planes, relying on sponsors.