A majority of air travellers are confident about the safety of air travel and support mask-wearing in the near-term, said a survey report. The survey conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in June, showed that 85 per cent of 4,700 travellers in 11 markets around the world believe aircraft are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
However, a majority are frustrated with the “hassle factor" around Covid-19 protocols, including confusion and uncertainty about travel rules, testing requirements, and excessive test costs. Besides, 65 per cent agree the air on an aircraft is as clean as an operating room.
Furthermore, passengers strongly supported mask wearing onboard (83 per cent) and strict enforcement of mask rules (86 per cent), but a majority also believe the mask requirement should be ended as soon as possible.
“Air travellers recognise and value the safety measures put in place to minimise 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," IATA Director General Willie Walsh said.
“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 behavior is a particular cause for great concern."
At the same time, participants admit that they struggle with the Covid-related rules and requirements and that this impacts their willingness to travel.
“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," said Walsh.
“And by the six-month mark, almost 85 per cent 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."