Posted on: 16 October 2015 by Ross McSweeny
Inmarsat and GfK, a market research company, have collated responses from 6,000 airline passengers across all ages which flew either for business or leisure in Europe during August and September with a personal electronic device (PED) for their ‘2015 In-Flight Connectivity Survey.’
Findings show demand for in-flight Wi-Fi is high, with 80% of respondents saying they would use the service if given the opportunity, with more than 3 out of 5 passengers claiming in-flight connectivity (IFC) was a necessity.
More than 4 out of 5 see a future where IFC is available on all aircraft, agreeing that the entire global fleet will offer in-flight Wi-Fi c within the next five to 10 years. 67% of users across all age groups willing to pay for the service, rising to 69% of 18-44 year olds but lowering to 63% of 45-64 year olds.
Interestingly, while the survey revealed that business-related demand was particularly high, business travellers confirmed they use PEDs for leisure purposes in-flight as much as, or even more than, leisure travellers themselves.
Web browsing and email usage dominated demand across all age groups, but 43% of 18-24 year olds were shown to be more likely to opt for games and 37% for video usage, enforcing the long-term trend towards more personalised in-flight entertainment (IFE) delivered over in-flight broadband.
The demand for in-flight connectivity was also shown to impact airline choice. 69% of those surveyed would choose to fly with an airline that provides on-board connectivity, while 67% would feel more valued by a carrier that makes the service available. This is especially the case with business travellers and other frequent flyers, whose choice of airline is more likely than average to be influenced by in-flight connectivity.
Leo Mondale, president of Inmarsat Aviation, commented, “Airlines invest millions in complex programmes such as cabin re-designs to maintain their competitive advantage, but there is one passenger demand they can meet today with a speedier return on investment: in-flight connectivity. This unstoppable wave is here to stay, and the overwhelming majority of survey respondents already cannot envisage a future without it. It is imperative that airlines look at how to respond to this demand today and look beyond a short-term answer, to a partner that can meet future demand. Inmarsat has the infrastructure, commitment and investment power to always deliver the best capacity – not only now, with our advanced Global Xpress and European Aviation Network solutions, but also in the future.”