The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that airlines are working to overcome passenger fears as the aviation sector slowly reopens. Concerns over the risks of catching Covid-19 during air travel is affecting travel decisions, according to new research. They were also concerned about being on a crowded bus on the way to the aircraft, check-in queues, breathing the air on a plane, and using the toilets.
IATA survey shows that 58% of respondents avoided air travel, with 33% suggesting that they will avoid travel in the future as a continued measure to reduce the risk of catching Covid-19. However, 77% of travelers, who are taking precautions to protect themselves from Covid-19, said that they are washing their hands more frequently. 71% are also avoiding large meetings and 67% have worn a facemask in public.
Travelers are being reassured by measures introduced by the government and the industry
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director-general, said, “People are clearly concerned about Covid-19 when traveling. But they are also reassured by the practical measures being introduced by governments and the industry under the Take-off guidance developed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). These include mask-wearing, the introduction of contactless technology in travel processes, and screening measures.
When asked to rank the top three measures that would make them feel safer, 37 % indicated Covid-19 screening at departure airports, 34 % agreed with the mandatory wearing of facemasks and 33 % noted social distancing measures on aircraft.
“On top of this, screening before the flight and facial coverings are among the extra layers of protection that are being implemented by industry and governments on the advice of ICAO and the World Health Organisation. No environment is risk-free, but few environments are as controlled as the aircraft cabin. And we need to make sure that travelers understand that,” de Juniac added.
While nearly half of those surveyed indicated they would return to travel within a few months of the pandemic subsiding, a significant drop from the 61 % recorded in the April survey. The survey thus reveals that people still want to travel, but it will not be possible to return to pre-crisis levels of travel.