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Two thirds of airline passengers in Asia-Pacific feel that inflight Wi-Fi is not merely a luxury but a necessity, according to Inmarsat-commissioned research.
A survey of travelers in the region, conducted by market research company GfK, found that 79% are willing to pay for inflight connectivity even on short leisure flights. In addition, 61% believe quality inflight Wi-Fi is more important than onboard entertainment.
The survey found that inflight broadband is changing the airline industry and transforming travelers’ expectations of the onboard experience.
Inflight Wi-Fi is becoming so important that over half (52%) of passengers in the region say they will stop using their preferred airline within the next year if it does not introduce the technology.
Passengers who have experienced high-quality in-flight Wi-Fi also rate it as the third most important consideration when choosing an airline, behind ticket price and flight slots.
Passengers in China are more likely to be conscious of the quality of Wi-Fi (55%) than those from other countries in the region. Notably, the top three airlines that passengers expect to offer in-flight Wi-Fi and eventually lead the inflight connectivity market in APAC are airlines from China – Air China (46%), China Eastern Airlines (22%) and China Southern Airlines (21%).
“Good quality Wi-Fi in the air is changing the way people think about flying. Whether using the time to work, to connect with friends and family, or to pass time shopping or viewing entertainment, the availability of inflight broadband has become a major factor when choosing an airline,” Inmarsat Aviation vice president for APAC Otto Gergye said.
“It’s clear the opportunity that connectivity presents to airlines cannot be underestimated. Airlines in Asia Pacific are recognising this, and can now take advantage of having a high quality onboard Wi-Fi option available in the region.”