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Demand for inflight Wi-Fi is driving loyalty amongst passengers in MEASA

October 10, 2018

Inflight Wi-Fi is a key driver in forming customer loyalty and satisfaction among today’s airline passengers across Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), according to the industry’s largest poll of passenger attitudes.

The fourth annual global Inflight Connectivity Survey is published today by Inmarsat, 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 survey respondents in MEASA (85%) believing that it is “fundamental” to daily life. With seven in ten MEASA passengers (70%) 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 eight in ten (84%) 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 MEASA 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. Nine in ten passengers in the region (90%) would use inflight 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: nine in ten business travellers (90%), passengers travelling with children (91%) and 18-30 year olds (93%) 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 four in five business travellers (80%) 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 in MEASA, as two thirds (66%) said that they would use the technology to remain in contact with family and friends on the ground. As demand for inflight Wi-Fi soars, uptake is similarly high as more than two thirds of passengers (69%) that had access to inflight Wi-Fi in the past year chose to use it. However, the demand for quality onboard Wi-Fi is significantly outstripping supply on airline fleets, as less than three in five passengers in the region (57%) travelled on flights where inflight Wi-Fi was offered.

Ben Griffin, Vice President MEA & 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. From sending that important work email to entertaining children, 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 across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, as this year’s survey reveals that nine in ten passengers in these regions want to use inflight Wi-Fi if it is available on their next flight.”

Middle East, Africa and South Asia survey highlights:

Of passengers surveyed in MEASA: 84% would be more likely to rebook with an airline if high quality inflight Wi-Fi were available 80% of business passengers would be likely to work on a plane to be productive if inflight Wi-Fi were available 78% of passengers would be likely to recommend inflight Wi-Fi having tried it previously 69% of those that have had access to inflight Wi-Fi in the last year used it 63% would exchange inflight tea and coffee for access to inflight Wi-Fi Quality is key: for 62% of MEASA respondents, no Wi-Fi at all is better than a poor quality service.

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