Vistara, today announced the results of the second wave of its customer survey to gauge passenger sentiment about flying in the current times indicated an increased passenger confidence since the first customer survey rolled out by Vistara in June 2020.
Conducted between August 17 and September 2, 2020, over 4,500 customers responded to the survey. Overall, the responses indicate an increased passenger confidence since the first customer survey rolled out by Vistara in June 2020.
According to the survey results, business travel continues to lead traffic at present, along with the segment of travellers returning to their homes or to their places of work. This is followed by an expected rise in the number of people visiting friends and relatives starting October 2020, and a spike in leisure travel in 2021.
Vistara’s Chief Commercial Officer, Vinod Kannan, said: “We have been seeing a steady rise in demand for domestic travel since the resumption of operations in May 2020, and the increased passenger confidence further makes us hopeful of better times to return soon. Our customer survey findings concur with the current trend we are observing in air traffic. We take great inspiration from the survey findings that reflect the trust our customers place in us and our thorough measures to ensure their health and safety.”
Nature of Travels Over Next Six Months
41% of the respondents said they plan to take their next flight by November 2020, and 63% expect to take their next flight by February 2021. Flying for business and returning to a place of work/home continues to be the main purpose of travel in the last few weeks for nearly 45% of the respondents. Visiting friends and relatives (VFR) is expected to pick up during the festive season and is likely to continue through February 2021 for an average of 25% of the respondents.
Domestic and International Travel
84% of Vistara customers are likely to fly within India on their next flight, and only 16% would fly outside of the country. However, 26% of Vistara’s expected their next flight to be international. The top five most preferred international destinations amongst the respondents that they are likely to travel to by August 2021 (in order of preference): Singapore, Dubai and US, UK, and Thailand.
Greater Confidence in Flying
Two out of every three customers thought that flying is the safest mode of travel. 71% of the customers rated Vistara 8/10 or higher for their confidence in Vistara ensuring their health and safety. This is an increase of 2 percentage points from the first wave of the survey, despite a significant rise in COVID-19 numbers in India.
The overall customer confidence rating for Vistara stands at 7.9/10. There has also been a significant increase in the number of people who do not fear exposure onboard an aircraft – from 32% in the first wave to 49% in the second wave. The percentage of people who do not fear any exposure at all also increased from 5% to 19%.
Top Customers Concerns About Flying Again
The findings of the survey’s second leg highlighted three top concerns for passengers in flying again: quarantine requirements/other restrictions implemented across states, higher fares, and fear of exposure to contracting the coronavirus.
85% of Vistara customers feel sufficiently informed about the health and safety measures taken by the airline. The survey recorded an increase of 8 percentage points in customers saying they were ‘very well informed’ – from 36% in the first wave to 44% in the second wave.
During the pandemic, Vistara rolled out several initiatives to inform and sensitise passengers about the necessary information related to travel during COVID-19. “We are glad to see the results of our efforts, including continuous communication to create greater awareness among all flyers and build a sense of shared responsibility to make flying feel safe again,” added Mr. Kannan.
Vistara’s customer survey was conducted online, covering various demographics of its customer base including Club Vistara members from all tier levels as well as non-members. The majority of respondents were salaried professionals and self-employed/business owners aged between 18 and 55+. The results were analysed in-house by a team of qualified professionals.
Vistara to launch Doha flights
Vistara has announced special, non-stop flights between Delhi and Doha, the capital city of the state of Qatar, from 19 November 2020. The airline will operate its Airbus A320neo twice a week between the two cities, on Thursdays and Sundays, as part of the bilateral ‘transport bubble’ agreement between India and Qatar. Bookings are being progressively opened.
“We are pleased to strengthen our presence in the Middle-East by adding another global city to our steadily growing network, albeit for special flights under the ‘transport bubble’. As an economic hub of the region, Doha continues to draw business travellers and is home to a large number of Indian expatriates. We are confident that travellers on this route will appreciate having the choice of flying India’s only five star airline.”