ACI research finds the highest intention to travel since the Covid-19 pandemic

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Airports Council International (ACI) World has published the annual ASQ Global Traveller Survey – revealing the highest intention to travel by passengers since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 2022 survey found that 76% of frequent travelers before the Covid-19 pandemic were planning to travel in 2021-2022; 68% of them actually actioned those plans. Additionally, 86% of respondents are planning to travel by air in the year to come. According to the organization, this is the highest intention score since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The removal or loosening of many barriers and crisis measures reportedly contributed to these results. Travelers’ confidence that airports and airlines provide a safe environment for passengers has also increased compared to 2021 and is back to the 2020 level: 81% are confident compared to 74% in 2021. Travelers’ perceptions of air travel, particularly their negative concerns, have also shifted. Travelers are now mainly concerned about the increased costs (77%) and complexity (75%) related to air travel.

The report also found that 71% of respondents still expect airports to provide measures that keep them feeling safe. However, the top expected measure has shifted from masks to improved cleanliness (selected by 31% of respondents). Other sources of concern about traveling relate to operational disruptions such as long waiting times and crowded airports. This may have been caused by the challenges faced by the industry during the peak surge of passenger traffic in mid-2022.

ACI World’s Airport Service Quality Global Traveller Survey 2022 measures the views of travelers who used to travel at least annually before the Covid-19 pandemic, and who have either traveled again during the crisis or are planning to travel again in the future. Completion of the report was supported by InterVISTAS/NACO as platinum advisory partners; KONE, Plaza Premium Group and Idemia as premium sponsors; and Boingo as a standard sponsor.

Luis Felipe de Oliveira, director general of ACI World, said, “It’s clear from the ASQ 2022 Global Traveller Survey that passengers have a high intention to travel and have confidence in the industry to provide a safe environment. While Covid-19 variants remain a concern for travelers, this year’s report provides new insights to understand current passenger expectations, refine their airport journey and ensure that their needs are met. This third edition of the survey will drive the customer-centric approach the industry needs to take – by listening to travelers and continuously improving.

“At the top of the list, airports should continue to place emphasis on their enhanced cleaning, especially as other measures and actions are less tangible. We encourage all airports to leverage the new Public Health & Safety Readiness Accreditation program to better align their public health and safety measures with ACI guidance, industry best practices and recommendations from the International Civil Aviation Organization Council’s Aviation Recovery Taskforce. In addition, the wider aviation ecosystem should work together to continue to increase the adoption of technologies, such as providing real-time information, self-service options and off-airport processing solutions, all of which travelers have shown a willingness to use.”

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