Travellers are stepping up their safety as a survey reveals huge precautions are being made while on the move.
Potential passengers are demanding a string of measures be put in place to instill confidence in air travel once again.
The Traveller Survey carried out by the International Air Transport Association reveals 58 percent of those quizzed have avoided air travel to date. A total of 33 percent said they will avoid travel in the future as a continued measure to reduce the risk of catching Covid-19.
Top concerns in the airport include catching a crowded bus or train on the way to the aircraft (59 percent). Queuing at check-in, security, border control and boarding was a major concern for 42 percent, while using airport toilet facilities came third (38 percent).
The number one issue on-board is sitting next to someone who may be infected (65 percent), followed by using toilet facilities (42 percent) and breathing the air on the plane (37 percent).
When asked what the top three measures are that would make flyers feel safer, 37 percent said Covid-19 screening measures in departure terminals, a further 34 percent said mandatory facemask wearing and 33 percent cited social distancing measures on-board.
“People are clearly concerned about Covid-19 when travelling,” said IATA director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac. “But, they are also reassured by the practical measures being introduced by governments and the industry. This tells us we are on the right track to restoring confidence in travel. But it will take time.”
Despite almost half of those questioned indicating they will return to travel within a few months of the pandemic easing, this is a huge drop from the 61 percent recorded in the IATA’s April study.
This indicates while many have not lost their appetite for travel, there are still elements of hesitation.
The majority of travellers quizzed plan to travel as soon as possible to see friends and family (57 percent), to go on holiday (56 percent) and do business (55 percent). However, an additional 566 percent said they will travel less for business and leisure in a post-pandemic world.
A further 64 percent indicated they will postpone travel until an improvement in the economy, both person and internationally.
The biggest current blocker in travel is quarantine. A total of 85 percent of those surveyed said concern over being quarantined was preventing them from travelling. This is slightly more than the main concern over catching the virus while commuting (84 percent).
“Quarantine is a demand killer,” added de Juniac. “Keeping borders closed prolongs the pain by causing economic hardship well beyond airlines. If governments want to re-start their tourism sectors, alternative risk-based measures are needed. Where there is a will to open up, there are ways to do it responsibly.”
This uncertainty has fuelled an uptick in private aviation, with companies reporting bookings of up to 80 percent the same pre-Covid times. Chartered airplanes and helicopters offer an extra level of safety, with passengers able to have the aircraft to themselves and avoid crowded airports.