As Finnair prepares to ramp ups it operations, with focus on continuing to connect Europe and Asia, the airline asked its customers how they feel about traveling by air again.

Over 3 000 Finnair Plus Loyalty program customers responded to Finnair’s customer survey, including all tier levels. Half of the respondents were already thinking about leisure trips by air, and almost nine out of ten customers surveyed by Finnair said they expected to fly at least once within the next year.

“We expect air travel to start gradually recovering from July onwards, and our customer survey supports this – customers are clearly looking forward to future travels”, says Ole Orvér, Finnair Chief Commercial Officer. “We start operating to some 40 European and Asian destinations in July and will gradually increase frequencies and routes as demand recovers.”

50% of customers planning leisure trips by air

According to the survey, half of the respondents were eager to travel by air for leisure, while 36% had a neutral attitude towards air travel for leisure. Almost 90% of customers expect to fly at least once over the next 12 months.

Travel restrictions were – quite naturally – the largest concern for travel: 77 % mentioned removing travel restrictions to be a prerequisite for their air travel. Many European countries are easing or removing travel restrictions during the summer.

People are already planning both leisure and business trips: 61% of the respondents planned to take leisure trip to a European destination, while 45% planned to travel within Europe for business. Germany and Spain were named most often as the destinations for the next trip. Asia was named as leisure destination by over one fifth of the respondents, and over one fifth of the respondents were planning a business trip to Asia. In Asia, China, Japan and Thailand were the most popular Asian destinations. Finnair’s domestic destinations were mentioned as leisure and business destinations by 17% and 18% of the respondents respectively.

Hand hygiene and aircraft cleaning important for travelers

The survey showed that the corona pandemic has brought new criteria for choosing an airline. The top three drivers for choosing an airline included the airline’s ability to ensure customer wellbeing and health during the trip, ticket prices, and flight schedules.

Aircraft cleaning and the possibility to ensure good hand hygiene were mentioned as the most important means for easing the concerns of travel safety. Also, some 65% of the respondents said that a requirement to wear a mask would ease their concerns either a moderate amount, a lot or a great deal. Finnair has introduced several measures to safeguard customer health and safety during the corona pandemic. “We have further intensified aircraft cleaning, hand sanitizers are available at Helsinki Airport, and we distribute sanitizing wipes to all passengers”, says Orvér. “By wearing face masks, we protect each other from possible droplet transmission, and masks are a requirement for both customers and crew.”

Altogether 76% of the respondents were either somewhat satisfied or extremely satisfied with how Finnair has communicated to its customers during the coronavirus pandemic. “We are extremely grateful for this positive feedback and the trust our customers place on us – 93% of the respondents were confident in Finnair’s ability to meet their needs in this time of uncertainty”, said Orvér. “This survey also helps us to further develop our customer service and offering.”