The contactless processing and robust sanitisation measures implemented at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB/ BLR Airport), have boosted passenger confidence in air travel, according to the ‘Voice of Pax’ survey. The survey was commissioned by Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL), the operator of BLR Airport.
The survey was conducted over five phases from April to July 2020, to understand passenger sentiments around air travel. It revealed that initial negative perception about travel due to the fear of COVID-19 infection at airports and hygiene factors has undergone a positive transformation since the resumption of air travel on May 25. Scheduled air travel on domestic routes resumed following a two-month COVID-19-induced nation-wide lockdown.
Owing to continuous enhancements in safety and hygiene measures at BLR Airport, the intent to fly among respondents improved from a mere 13 per cent in Phase-1 to 33 per cent in Phase-5, a significant jump indicating a higher positive disposition towards air travel.
Although 21 per cent of the respondents were concerned about airport safety and hygiene checks in Phase-1, it declined considerably to 6 per cent in Phase-5. In another favourable sign, the higher safety perceptions associated with air travel and airports steadily improved through the phases. In the first phase, 71 per cent respondents considered air travel as the safest mode of transport, while in the final phase 89 per cent of the respondents considered air travel to be the safest. There was a 15 per cent increase in the sentiment that airports are safer than rail and bus stations.
“Family Not Comfortable!”
While the fear of COVID-19 pandemic was the principal reason for people to avoid flights, “family not comfortable” was the next most cited reason across demographics. However, the survey highlighted that over time people were beginning to get more comfortable with airport safety measures. Acceptance of contactless processing improved from 62-100 per cent, while comfort with using the Arogya Setu e-pass improved from 49-86 per cent. Among frequent flyers, comfort levels with most safety measures were the highest compared to the other segments.
To rebuild confidence among passengers towards air travel, BIAL has continued to innovate to create a safe, healthy and clean experience. In addition to contactless processing, BIAL recently launched virtual information desks, enabling travellers to have real-time conversations with airport staff, over touch-free video. Meanwhile, BIAL enhanced ventilation to increase fresh air intake at the terminal by increasing the temperature of the air-conditioners to minimise the transmission of the coronavirus.
“It is encouraging to see that a large number of our passengers trust the safety and well-being measures implemented at BLR Airport. Many of them have appreciated our efforts. Based on feedback from the respondents, BIAL continues to refine standard operating procedures to boost the confidence of passengers who are uneasy about air travel,” said a BIAL Spokesperson.
“There are high expectations from passengers in terms of safety and hygiene to make airports safe places to travel through. BIAL will continue to introduce new measures and services to further strengthen passenger confidence. At BLR Airport, our vision is to enable journeys, create experiences and touch lives as the gateway to a new India. We will continue to innovate to provide a safe and contactless airport experience for our passengers,” the spokesperson added.
This research was conducted on behalf of BIAL by LeadCap Ventures, a global research and consulting firm, between April and July 2020, where 6,098 respondents participated, using a systematic random sampling methodology, chosen from a database of over 150,000 passengers from across age, profession, group size, frequency of flying and sector of flying.