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IATA air traveller survey shows COVID-19 concerns globally

News Agencies | Updated on: 8 July 2020, 11:15 IST

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released public opinion research showing the willingness to travel being tempered by concerns over the risks of catching COVID-19 during air travel.

However, IATA said the industry's re-start plans address passenger's main concerns.

Travellers are taking precautions to protect themselves from COVID-19 with 77 per cent saying that they are washing their hands more frequently, 71 per cent avoiding large meetings and 67 per cent having worn a facemask in public.

Some 58 per cent of those surveyed said that they have avoided air travel, with 33 per cent suggesting that they will avoid travel in future as a continued measure to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19.

The 11-country survey conducted during the first week of June assessed traveller concerns during the pandemic and the potential timelines for their return to travel.

This is the third wave of the survey with previous waves conducted at the end of February and the beginning of April. All those surveyed had taken at least one flight since July 2019. Travellers identified their top three concerns.

At the airport: being in a crowded bus or train on the way to the aircraft, queuing at check-in/security/border control or boarding and using restrooms/toilet facilities.

Onboard aircraft: sitting next to someone who might be infected, using airport restrooms/toilet facilities and breathing the air on the plane.

When asked to rank the top three measures that would make them feel safer, 37 per cent cited COVID-19 screening at departure airports, 34 per cent agreed with the mandatory wearing of facemasks and 33 per cent noted social distancing measures on aircraft."People are clearly concerned about Covid-19 when travelling. But they are also reassured by the practical measures being introduced by governments and the industry under the Take-off guidance developed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)," said IATA's Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

"This tells us that we are on the right track to restoring confidence in travel. But it will take time. To have maximum effect, it is critical that governments deploy these measures globally," he said in a statement.


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First published: 8 July 2020, 11:15 IST