Tuesday 21 May 2019

Demand for inflight wi-fi 'driving loyalty amongst passengers'

DUBAI, October 8, 2018

Inflight wi-fi is a key driver in forming customer loyalty and satisfaction among today’s airline passengers across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), according to the industry’s largest poll of passenger attitudes.

The fourth annual global Inflight Connectivity Survey, published by Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, in association with market research company Populus, revealed that wi-fi is already an essential part of everyday life on the ground with more than eight in 10 survey respondents in MEASA (85 per cent) believing that it is “fundamental” to daily life.

With seven in 10 MEASA passengers (70 per cent) describing inflight wi-fi as crucial, meeting the demand for connectivity in the skies is key to improving passenger experience and driving loyalty in the region.

Wi-fi is now so critical to passengers that more than eight in 10 (84 per cent) would be more likely to rebook with an airline if high-quality wi-fi is available.

Inflight connectivity is considered the second most important factor for passengers in MEASA when choosing an airline, behind only airline reputation.

The impact of inflight wi-fi on loyalty and satisfaction is particularly significant for passenger groups most keen to remain connected in the air. Nine in 10 passengers in the region (90 per cent) would use inflight wi-fi if it were available on their next flight, with high-value customers, parents and young passengers among those most likely to use inflight connectivity services. Nine in 10 business travellers (90 per cent), passengers travelling with children (91 per cent) and 18-30-year-olds (93 per cent) in the region plan to use the service if it’s offered when they next fly.

Onboard wi-fi could also lead to more productive business trips, as four in five business travellers (80 per cent) in the region would use inflight connectivity to continue working on the plane. Access to wi-fi is also an important driver of choice for nervous flyers in MEASA, as two thirds (66 per cent) said that they would use the technology to remain in contact with family and friends on the ground.

As demand for inflight connectivity soars, uptake is similarly high as more than two-thirds of passengers (69 per cent) that had access to inflight wi-fi in the past year chose to use it. However, the demand for quality onboard wi-fi is significantly outstripping supply on airline fleets, as less than three in five passengers in the region (57 per cent) travelled on flights where inflight wi-fi was offered.

Ben Griffin, vice president MEA & APAC at Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Wi-fi is essential to daily life on the ground, and airline passengers see no reason why their time on a flight should be restricted or spent any differently. From sending that important work email to entertaining children, staying online is becoming a crucial part of the inflight experience for today’s airline passengers.”

He continued: “The desire to stay connected in the air is especially true for passengers across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, as this year’s survey reveals that nine in 10 passengers in these regions want to use inflight wi-fi if it is available on their next flight.”

Inmarsat is transforming the global aviation industry by bringing complete connectivity to every aircraft and flight path in the world. It is the first and only provider with a complete High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) network spanning the world. Inmarsat is also the only aviation broadband provider capable of connecting the complete aircraft from cabin to cockpit. Passengers can browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an on-board connectivity experience on par with broadband services available on the ground. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Middle East | Africa | WiFi | Inflight |

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