London City Airport survey finds strong desire to return to domestic and international travel
The survey showed a willingness from participants to adapt to the post-COVID-19 landscape, including possible pre-departure negative COVID-19 test result and proof of vaccination requirements.
A nationally representative survey of 2,100 people across the UK that was commissioned by London City Airport (LCY) has demonstrated a strong desire to return to domestic and international travel as soon as restrictions are eased by the UK government.
The survey, which took place on 27 February and 28 February 2021 – the weekend following the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, issuing the government’s roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions on 22 February 2021 – builds on the spike of new bookings made by the British public since 22 February 2021 and points to a resurgence for the UK travel industry.
The survey results also showed a willingness to adapt to the post-COVID-19 landscape, with three quarters of participants accepting the need to supply a negative COVID-19 test prior to travel, if required.
In addition, building on recent results relating to travel certification, three quarters of participants would be willing to carry proof that they had been vaccinated if it meant being allowed to travel. Interestingly, amongst the over 65’s, the number rises to 89 per cent, but it decreases to 67 per cent for 18 to 24 year olds – which may indicate that overall acceptance will increase once every adult in the UK receives their first vaccination by July 2021, as expected by the UK government.
Commenting on the survey, Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer, London City Airport, said: “After the weakest first quarter that anyone in the industry can remember, the survey results show that the Prime Minister’s roadmap has given British people hope again, and it is very pleasing to see that so many see travel as a priority as restrictions are eased. It has also given our airline partners confidence to schedule services throughout the summer, and I am delighted that we will be able to connect travellers to so many destinations across the UK and Europe for the most well-deserved summer holiday that they will ever have.”
“The challenge now for industry and government is to make sure that 17 May 2021 is not another false dawn and to agree travel standards with our key international partners as soon as possible, which will allow everyone to fly safely from early summer. When this is achieved, I would anticipate another surge in bookings that will not only be a huge shot in the arm for the industry, but will demonstrate that we can finally begin our recovery,” he added.
Looking ahead to summer 2021, the emerging picture points to a preference for short haul holidays, with 55 per cent of frequent flyers preferring Europe and the Mediterranean, compared to 22 per cent who aspire to travel long haul.
This potential trend is supported by 71 per cent indicating that travel should be allowed between the UK and countries where COVID-19 is under control, opening up the possibility of green travel corridors between the UK and European countries where risk is low. It is hoped that international departures will commence from 17 May 2021 and will be scaled up through summer 2021.
In preparation, London City Airport has an airside testing facility, provided by Collinson, that offers all required arrival and departure testing for UK and global markets and will continue to offer safe, careful and speedy journeys for passengers.