A survey of over 9,000 people from 27 countries has highlighted soaring demand for in-flight broadband in Asia Pacific, with nine out of ten of respondents from the region stating the availability of onboard connectivity would influence their choice of airline, while over two thirds are willing to pay for the service.
The In-Flight Connectivity Survey was conducted by Inmarsat and GfK between August 2015 and March 2016. Responses were gathered from more than 9,000 passengers in Asia, Australasia, Europe, and Central and South America who had taken a short, medium or long haul flight in the past year and carried at least one personal device onboard the aircraft.
The survey showed that 54% and 57% of Asia Pacific passengers would choose in-flight broadband as a preferred service in short-haul and long-haul flights, compared to only 16% and 18% choosing traditional in-flight entertainment as their preferred onboard service.
According to the survey, business flyers are even more likely to recognise the value of paying for high-speed onboard connectivity than leisure travellers, with 74% of business travellers surveyed indicating that they are willing to pay more for faster in-flight broadband compared to 62% of leisure travellers.
64% of passengers felt that in-flight broadband can deliver on all of their onboard needs. This highlights an opportunity for airlines to use in-flight broadband to increase ancillary revenues, as the majority of passengers are willing to pay for the service, with 68% of passengers under 34 years old and 55% of passengers over 45 years old willing to pay for unlimited internet usage during a flight.
When passengers discuss in-flight broadband quality, the key issues of concern are reliability (that a connection does not drop out or cut off), availability (that the connection is available throughout the flight), and speed of the connection. 72% of flyers in Asia Pacific would prefer not to use broadband that is not of high quality with 62% stating they would pay more for faster in-flight broadband.