According to Inmarsat’s 2022 Passenger Experience Survey, three-quarters of airline passengers in Asia Pacific feel confident about flying again, a significant rise from just 6% last year.
With the general easing of travel restrictions, there has been renewed confidence in air travel and this was reflected in findings across the surveyed countries in APAC, with India (88%) topping the list, followed by Australia and Singapore (79%) and South Korea (53%).
Inflight connectivity remains one of the leading factors that influence which airline is selected by APAC passengers, with more than four-fifths (83%) more likely to rebook with an airline if quality inflight Wi-Fi was available, an increase from 78% in the previous year.
The heightened desire to stay connected while traveling is also evident with almost three-quarters (74%) of those surveyed saying it is important to connect to Wi-Fi when flying, up from 39% in 2021.
“As millions return to the skies, the results of Inmarsat’s latest APAC passenger experience survey offer valuable insights into how the expectations and behaviors of passengers have evolved since the pandemic,” said David Coiley, Asia Pacific Regional Vice President, Inmarsat Aviation. “Inflight connectivity is a prime example. Passenger demand for fast and reliable Wi-Fi has never been higher, so providing access to such services is absolutely essential for airlines. This also serves as the foundation to enhance the overall onboard experience through digitalization, which our survey results indicate will not only be embraced by passengers, helping to drive their future brand loyalty, but also unlocks even greater revenue generation opportunities for airlines across Asia Pacific. Passengers are even telling us they would go without an alcoholic drink to ensure they get good inflight Wi-Fi.”
The volume of APAC passengers using digital devices on flights remains high at 96% – mostly for entertainment and administrative tasks. In addition, 78% have connected to inflight broadband when available on a flight, more than double the percentage from the previous year (38%).
Travelers across APAC are also willing to trade for connectivity. 36% of respondents say they would be willing to view advertisements and 32% claim they would give up alcoholic drinks inflight if it means having access to quality and consistent connectivity.
Watching downloaded movies or TV shows was the most popular onboard activity passengers would engage in while connected – a figure that is unsurprising, considering that 32% indicated they would pay more to access exclusive inflight entertainment content while flying. In addition, 28% would pay more for both unlimited downloads and social media usage.
Although results show APAC passengers are willing to pay for better or more connectivity-enabled experiences during their flights, cost remains the single most prohibitive factor across all markets, with Australian passengers (56%) feeling the most strongly about it.
Four in five (80%) APAC passengers also believe that Wi-Fi should be free on long-haul flights, with fewer than half (49%) saying the same for short-haul flights.
“The APAC region has long been a digitally-advanced hotspot and clearly, this shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon – in fact, I think this demand for connectivity will only grow,” added David Coiley. “All of this presents airlines with an opportunity to use connectivity to enhance the passenger experience beyond the ordinary. Not only will this boost retention and loyalty among their passengers – but it can also unlock a whole host of commercial opportunities to support their ongoing recovery, and future-proof the business.”
Research, conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Inmarsat in August and September 2022, surveyed 11,231 respondents who said they had travelled by air in the past year in 10 countries worldwide: 1507 in the UK; 673 in Brazil; 1259 in Germany; 507 in UAE; 1004 in Saudi Arabia; 505 in South Korea; 1511 in India; 1002 in Australia; 1001 in Singapore; and 2261 in USA.
Of all the respondents, 4,019 (South Korea, India, Australia and Singapore) are regarded as APAC passengers by Inmarsat.
The full 11-page, 6.38 MB APAC Passenger Experience Survey 2022 report can be downloaded here.© Travel News Asia