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Demand for inflight Wi-Fi is driving airline loyalty amongst passengers in Asia Pacific

Author: Vicky Karantzavelou / Date: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 12:47
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Three quarters of passengers would be more likely to rebook with an airline if high-quality inflight Wi-Fi is offered.

Inflight Wi-Fi is a key driver in forming customer loyalty and satisfaction among today’s airline passengers in Asia Pacific, according to the industry’s largest poll of passenger attitudes. The fourth annual global Inflight Connectivity Survey is published by Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, in association with market research company Populus.

Wi-Fi is already an essential part of everyday life on the ground with more than eight in ten (86%) Asia Pacific survey respondents believing that it is “fundamental” to daily life. With two thirds (67%) of Asia Pacific passengers describing inflight Wi-Fi as crucial, meeting the demand for Wi-Fi 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 three quarters (78%) would be more likely to rebook with an airline if high-quality Wi-Fi is available. Inflight Wi-Fi is considered the second most important factor for passengers in Asia Pacific 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. Almost nine in ten (86%) passengers in Asia Pacific would use infight 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 Wi-Fi services: more than nine in ten business travellers (92%), passengers travelling with children (93%) and 18-30 year olds (91%) 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 almost nine in ten business travellers (88%) in the region would use inflight Wi-Fi to continue working on the plane. Access to Wi-Fi is also an important driver of choice for nervous flyers, as two thirds (64%) said that they would use the technology to remain in contact with family and friends on the ground.

The majority of today’s airline passengers are so keen to get online that they will sacrifice other inflight amenities for internet access. Inmarsat’s 2016 Inflight Connectivity Survey revealed that more than half of passengers globally (54%) would choose Wi-Fi over an inflight meal. Today, passengers are adding alcohol to the list of inflight amenities they would sacrifice to get online, with more than half of passengers in Asia Pacific (51%) suggesting they are even prepared to give up their inflight alcoholic drink in exchange for access to Wi-Fi.

As demand for inflight Wi-Fi soars, uptake is similarly high as almost three quarters (72%) of Asia Pacific passengers who had access to inflight Wi-Fi in the past year chose to use it – the highest uptake of any region globally. However, the demand for quality onboard Wi-Fi is significantly outstripping supply on airline fleets, as only half of Asia Pacific respondents travelled on flights where it was offered.

Ben Griffin, Vice President MEA and 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. Whether it’s used for sending that important work email, entertaining children or even connecting with fellow passengers, 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 to passengers in Asia Pacific, as this year’s survey reveals that three quarters of passengers in the region who had access to inflight Wi-Fi in the past year chose to use it – the highest uptake of any region globally.”

Asia Pacific survey highlights

Of passengers surveyed in the Asia Pacific region:

  • 86% of passengers would use inflight Wi-Fi if it was available on their next flight, rising to 92% amongst business travellers, 93% of passengers travelling with children and 91% of 18-30 year olds
  • 88% of business passengers are likely to work on a plane to be productive if inflight Wi-Fi is available
  • 78% would be more likely to rebook with an airline if high-quality inflight Wi-Fi were available
  • 72% of passengers that have had access to inflight Wi-Fi in the last year used it
  • 70% of passengers in Asia would be likely to recommend inflight Wi-Fi having tried it previously
  • 51% would be willing to give up their inflight alcoholic drink to get online

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. Inmarsat’s high-speed, secure connectivity solutions for the flight deck combine cutting-edge satellite technology with secure IP broadband connectivity. Inmarsat is able to deliver incomparable protected data capacity to the cockpit, resulting in vastly improved operational efficiency and enhanced safety.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vicky Karantzavelou

Co-Founder & Chief Editor

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.