Flights Within Europe Most Popular Post-COVID-19

Half of Finnair customers planning leisure trips by air and according to a recent survey, most are looking for trips within Europe

Almost nine out of ten loyalty customers surveyed by Finnair said they expected to fly at least once within the next year.

Leisure travel within Europe looks set to lead the way for Finnair’s recovery, according to a new customer confidence survey.

Over 3,000 Finnair Plus Loyalty programme customers, 75 per cent of whom were Finns, responded to Finnair’s customer survey, including all tier levels.

Ole Orvér, Finnair Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We expect air travel to start gradually recovering from July onwards, and our customer survey supports this.

“We start operating to some 40 European and Asian destinations in July and will gradually increase frequencies and routes as demand recovers.”

According to the survey, half of the respondents were eager to travel by air for leisure, while 36% had a neutral attitude towards flying for leisure trips. Almost 90% of customers expect to fly at least once over the next 12 months.

Travel restrictions were – quite naturally – the largest concern for travel with 77% of  those responding mentioning the removal of travel restrictions as a prerequisite for flying.

Many European countries are easing or removing travel restrictions during the summer.

People are already planning both leisure and business trips: 61% of the respondents planned to take a leisure flight to a European destination, while 45% planned to travel within Europe for business.

Germany and Spain were named as the most popular European destinations. Asia was named as a leisure destination by over one fifth of the respondents, and over one fifth of the respondents were planning a business trip to the continent.

Finnair’s domestic destinations were mentioned as leisure and business destinations by 17% and 18% of the respondents respectively.

The survey showed the coronavirus pandemic had made consumers re-evaluate their  criteria for choosing an airline. The top three drivers include an airline’s ability to ensure customer wellbeing and health during the trip, as well as ticket prices, and flight schedules.

Aircraft cleaning and measures to ensure good hand hygiene were mentioned as the most important ways to reassure customers air travel was safe.

Some 65% of the respondents also said that a requirement to wear a mask would ease their concerns either moderately, a lot or a great deal.

Finnair has introduced several measures to safeguard customer health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Orvér added: “We have further intensified aircraft cleaning, hand sanitisers are available at Helsinki Airport, and we distribute sanitising wipes to all passengers. By wearing face masks, we protect each other from possible droplet transmission, and masks are a requirement for both customers and crew.”

The survey also showed 76% of respondents were either somewhat satisfied or extremely satisfied with how Finnair had communicated with its customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Orvér said: “We are extremely grateful for this positive feedback and the trust our customers place in us – 93% of the respondents were confident in Finnair’s ability to meet their needs in this time of uncertainty. This survey also helps us to further develop our customer service and offering.”