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Low cost vs full service, post-COVID

Poll suggests full recovery may take several years

Low cost carriers have been predicted to bounce back more quickly than full service airlines post-coronavirus.


In a survey of 500 aviation industry professionals, the majority (55%) of those polled said they expected LCCs to recover faster than traditional carriers, with most (60%) anticipating a recovery period for aviation of between 18 months and three years.



Conducted by Inmarsat and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), the survey also found that the majority (69%) of respondents expected a quicker recovery for business travel than leisure travel, and unsurprisingly, a comeback for domestic travel (85%) prior to travel abroad.


Seven out of 10 respondents expect point-to-point travel to bounce back quicker than hub and spoke routes.


Only 13% said they believed the industry was prepared for a crisis like COVID-19, while just 7% of those polled thought governments had done enough to support airlines.


Called FlightPlan: Charting a Course into the Future, the global survey was conducted between April and June 2020. 


“Even in a period of unrivalled uncertainty and volatility, there is a true sense of optimism about the shape of the industry in this new world,” Inmarsat Aviation, Vice President Dominic Walters said. 


“The results show a strong desire to accelerate recovery, an optimistic outlook for investment in passenger experience and sustainability initiatives, and a commitment to rebuild an industry fit for the future.”


With greater cleaning of aircraft, the vast majority of respondents (88%) said they anticipated slower turnarounds of planes in the future.


Contactless catering was also flagged (by 57%) as an important factor in the recovery period, as was empty middle seats (44%).   


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 20 July 2020

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