Low cost vs full service, post-COVID

Budget airlines may bounce back quicker post-COVID than their premium full-service counterparts, according to a survey of 500 aviation industry professionals.

Conducted by Inmarsat and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), the FlightPlan: Charting a Course into the Future survey found that 55 per cent of respondents expected low-cost carriers to recover faster than traditional carriers, with 60 per cent estimating a recovery period for the aviation industry of between 18 months and three years.

The majority (69 per cent) of respondents believe business travellers will come back on board before leisure travellers and 85 per cent say domestic tourism will recover prior to international travel.

Only 13 per cent believed the aviation sector was prepared for a crisis like COVID-19.

And just 7 per cent said governments had done enough to support airlines.

The vast majority of respondents (88 per cent) would expect slower turnarounds of planes due to increased cleaning and hygiene protocols.

Almost six in 10 said contactless catering would be an important factor to getting them back in the air, and 44 per cent said empty middles seats will be a must, a Travel Talk report found.

“Even in a period of unrivalled uncertainty and volatility, there is a true sense of optimism about the shape of the industry in this new world,” said Inmarsat Aviation vice-president Dominic Walters.

“The results show a strong desire to accelerate recovery, an optimistic outlook for investment in passenger experience and sustainability initiatives, and a commitment to rebuild an industry fit for the future.”

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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