According to a Global Traveller Survey conducted by Airports Council International (ACI) World to help airports plan for future demand almost half of those surveyed want to travel again soon. This can be attributed to a strong level of confidence in the environment safety provided by airports and airlines.
While recovery is dependent on a number of factors, the survey found that 48% of travellers considered themselves likely to travel within the next three months. But to do so passengers expect certain measures to be put in place to address health risks. These include mandatory masks for passengers and staff, COVID-19 testing prior to the trip, hand sanitising stations, and the development of a more contactless airport experience.
“One of the keys to recovery will be the aviation industry’s understanding of the changing needs of passengers and ACI’s new survey provides insight into how COVID-19 is affecting passenger expectations and future travel plans,” said ACI World Director General, Luis Felipe de Oliveira.
While domestic travel will help aviation’s short-term recovery, in the long term the survey found an overall slight decrease in travel frequency is expected and a shift in the main reason to travel with slightly less business travellers, and more people travelling for personal reasons.
“It is reassuring that travellers are eager to travel again and our survey will help airports make the right decisions in providing the best and safest customer experience,” de Oliveira added. “Airports, airlines and their partners need to continue to increase the level of confidence in the entire passenger journey and provide and communicate the measures they are introducing to keep passengers healthy and safe. ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation programme provides airports with not only a tool to assess their health measures against globally-recognised standards but also a way to communicate to passengers about these measures.”
Completion of the report was supported by KONE Corporation, as well as Munich Airport, Plaza Premium Group and POTLOC. Dr . Sascha Brozek, Senior Vice President, Major Projects, KONE Corporation said: “As air travel and the industry navigates changes in order to gradually return, there’s no doubt the way passengers move through airports has been changed permanently. In this respect, safe and efficient people flow management is vital. At KONE, we believe that technology and smart solutions will help us reconfigure environments like airport terminals, keeping safety and health as a top priority.”
Meanwhile, Munich Airport’s Managing Director, Dr. Ralf Gaffal, explained the results of the traveller survey will provide guidance for his airport to define its strategy and actions in order to maintain the highest level of customer satisfaction. He said: “COVID-19 has a never-seen impact on our aviation industry – not only did it cause traffic movements to hit rock bottom, it also changed the overall behaviour and expectations of our passengers and requires the implementation of new processes and systems. As a global world-class airport operator, it is essential for us to understand all changes and requirements to quickly adapt processes, facilities and information flow.”
Rodolphe Barrere, Co-Founder & CEO at consumer research company POTLOC explained that airports with answers from customers will have more chances of overcoming a post-COVID world. “With this study we were able to reach far and wide, by extracting travellers’ insights via social networks, to get a clearer picture of where we stand now, and what the future holds for airports in their eyes.”
Created to help airports in the short, medium and long term, the report will enable airports to adapt their customer experience according to demand and to adapt the passenger experience accordingly .According to ACI, it will help them implement the right measures expected by travellers, improve the most stressful touchpoints throughout the journey, and understand passengers’ needs and expectations.