Virus Outbreak Air Travel

Passengers wearing face masks leave the United Airlines ticket counter after checking in Tuesday, June 16, 2020, at the Tampa International Airport in Tampa, Fla.

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(The Center Square) – Most consumers plan to fly internationally and are open to air travel, according to a new survey conducted by OAG, a global travel data provider that says it monitors the world's largest network of schedules and travel status data.

More than 4,000 global users of OAG’s flightview travel app indicated that overall fear levels over catching COVID-19 while flying are tepid, and most consumers are open to air travel.

Of those surveyed, 69 percent said they plan on flying internationally within the next six months; 79 percent have plans to fly domestically.

Eagerness to travel domestically was expressed by more millennials and Gen-Zers than other age groups.

Nearly one-third do not intend to change their travel plans, the survey found.

An overwhelming majority, 76 percent, said mask mandates are the most effective safety measure airlines and airports can implement, followed by improved cleaning procedures.

Airlines and tourism companies can potentially capitalize on this trend, OAG suggests, by prioritizing their efforts around domestic travel, particularly focusing on cities with low transmission rates.

“The coronavirus has devastated the aviation and travel market,” OAG says in the report, “causing consistent and severe capacity cuts week after week. Globally, overall capacity is down nearly 50 million seats or 47 percent.”

“While many consumers remain wary of catching COVID-19 while traveling, the overall fear factor (as it relates to catching the virus while at the airport or flying) is not as prominent as most think,” the report states. “On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not concerned with catching the virus while traveling and 10 being very concerned, 52 percent rated their fear level at 5 or below – and only 32 percent said it was an 8 or higher.”

The survey was published after numerous airlines in the U.S. and abroad announced massive layoffs of employees each in the tens of thousands.

This article originally ran on thecentersquare.com.

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