60% of passengers believe inflight Wi-Fi is a necessity not a luxury
61% say quality inflight Wi-Fi is more important than onboard entertainment
45% would pay for inflight Wi-Fi rather than use free onboard entertainment
Inflight internet a “life saver’” for 66% of parents travelling with children
26 July 2017: Inflight broadband is changing the airline industry and revolutionising passengers’ expectations of the onboard experience. That is the conclusion from the third annual global Inflight Connectivity Survey, published today by Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, in association with market research company GfK.
Overwhelmingly, passengers now expect the same levels of connectivity and access to online services whilst they are at 30,000 feet as they receive on the ground. As such, 60% of all passengers say that inflight Wi-Fi is now a necessity rather than a luxury. The majority (61%) of global passengers who have experienced high-quality inflight Wi-Fi rate it higher on their list of priorities than inflight entertainment when choosing an airline.
With airlines in every market racing to install or upgrade their Wi-Fi offering, passengers will have a choice to opt for an airline that offers high-quality broadband, and will soon turn their back on airlines not offering this. Nearly half of respondents (44%) said they would stop using their preferred airline within the next year if it did not offer connectivity enabling them to stream or browse online without interruption.
The ability to connect to personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets now sits within the top three considerations when choosing an airline, behind ticket price (53%) and flight slots (44%) for 40% of passengers who have experienced high-quality Wi-Fi.
What’s more, the ability to remain online and work during a flight is greatly improving passenger experience, according to more than half (56%) of business travellers who have previously used inflight Wi-Fi.
The survey reflects the responses of 9,000 airline passengers from 18 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and North and Latin America, and is the largest global passenger survey of its kind.
Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “High-quality inflight Wi-Fi is changing the way people think about flying and how they spend their time in the air. Whether using the time to work, to connect with friends and family, or to pass time shopping or viewing entertainment, the availability of inflight broadband has become a major factor when choosing an airline.”
He continued: “The annual Inflight Connectivity Survey has become a barometer for passenger sentiment. This year’s survey reveals that 60% of passengers believe that inflight Wi-Fi is a necessity and no longer a luxury. This will only increase as more people experience inflight connectivity. It is clear the opportunity that connectivity presents to airlines cannot be underestimated.”
Global survey highlights
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 next-generation 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. Inmarsat’s world-leading passenger solutions are complemented by its industry-standard certified safety and operations services. 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.
Methodology: 9,000 airline passengers from 18 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and North and Latin America were surveyed in February 2017. All respondents had taken a flight in the last year for a mix of business and leisure purposes.
A copy of the Global Passenger Survey Whitepaper can be downloaded here.
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Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat operates around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (ISAT.L).
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