Fear of exposure to COVID during air travel lessens amid fliers in last 3 months: Vistara survey

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (PTI) Fear of exposure to COVID-19 during air travel and of fellow passengers not adhering to health protocols has lessened among fliers during the last three months, according to a survey released by Vistara on Wednesday.

When asked if they have the aforementioned fears, 34 per cent and 26 per cent of passengers said yes during the first Vistara survey that was done in June this year. Around 6,000 fliers had participated in the first survey.

These two figures decreased to 22 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively, when Vistara conducted its second survey during the August-September period. A total of 4,550 passengers participated in the survey.

The second Vistara survey said the top three concerns among the passengers during the air travel were in this order: quarantine requirements, higher fares and fear of exposure to COVID-19 during the travel.

The first survey of the full-service carrier had found that the three main concerns in this order: fear of exposure to COVID-19 during air travel and of fellow passengers not following safety protocols and higher fares.

The survey released on Wednesday said two out of three passengers found flying is the safest way to travel from one city to another.

'Fort-one per cent customers intend to fly within the next 1-2 months and 63 per cent within the next six months. Twenty-eight per cent will defer flying to next year or wait till the situation normalises. Findings are similar to the last wave (survey),' stated Vistara's second survey.

Eighty-four per cent of Vistara customers are likely to fly within India on their next flight, and only 16 per cent would fly outside of the country, the second survey noted.

Scheduled international flights have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, special international passenger flights have been operating in India under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral air bubble arrangements formed between India and other countries since July.

Currently, Indian airlines are permitted to operate maximum 60 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.

India restarted scheduled domestic passenger flights on May 25 after a gap of two months due to the pandemic. PTI DSP KJ KJ