The International Air Transport Association (IATA) carried out a passenger survey in May across 11 countries regarding their attitudes on air travel throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Overall, most travellers are confident about the safety and cleanliness of air travel and support the use of masks onboard in the short-term.
The main findings of the survey include:
- 85% of respondents believe that aircraft are thoroughly cleaned with 65% agreeing the air onboard is as clean as an operating room.
- A large majority of passengers, 83% of those surveyed, are in favour of wearing masks onboard and 86% support the enforcement of the rules surrounding mask-wearing.
- Of those who have travelled since June 2020, 86% have felt safe onboard from the Covid measures in place. 89% believe that the measures are well implemented, and nine out of ten respondents think airline personnel are effective in enforcing the regulations.
- 90% are also in favour of using mobile apps to store their health credentials including vaccination status and/or Covid test results.
Whilst a large majority of the respondents are confident in air travel safety, people are still frustrated with the Covid protocols with 70% saying the paperwork and rules in place are a challenge to understand and 67% believe organising testing is a hassle.
“Air travellers recognise and value the safety measures put in place to minimize the risk of Covid-19 transmission during air travel. And they support the continuation of these measures as long as necessary, but they also don’t want the measures to become permanent. In the meantime, we all need to respect the rules and the safety of fellow passengers. It is unacceptable that unruly passenger incidents have doubled compared to 2019, and the increase in physically abusive behaviour is a particular cause for great concern.
These responses should be a wake-up call to governments that they need to do a better job of preparing for a restart. Almost two thirds of respondents plan to resume travel within a few months of the pandemic being contained (and borders opened). And by the six-month mark almost 85% expect to be back to travel. To avoid overwhelming airports and border control authorities, governments need to agree to replace paper-based processes with digital solutions like the IATA Travel Pass for vaccine and testing documentation.”