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13 December 2020

The Pégase Chair publishes its new report: "Air transport: the impact of COVID-19 on the behaviour of the French"

The Pégase Chair publishes its new report: "Air transport: the impact of COVID-19 on the behaviour of the French"

France’s first chair in air transport and aerospace economics and management

When the Covid-19 health crisis hit France, the experts at Montpellier Business School mobilized to be useful to the greatest number and help companies get through this unprecedented situation. One of them was Dr. Paul Chiambaretto, holder of the Pégase Chair, who focused on one of the most affected sectors during this crisis: air transport.

” The objective of the Chair was to highlight the changes, but also the constant elements, in the behaviour of the French people following this epidemic. We built the analysis of behaviours on three components: firstly, a sketch of French air passengers in 2019 before the Covid-19 crisis, then a description of their behaviour in the five months following the first containment (May to October 2020). We then concluded with a characterization of the intentions of the French for the next 12 months (October 2020 – October 2021) ” explains Dr. Paul Chiambaretto.

Air transport in 2021 will be back to a demand almost equivalent to the Pre-Covid level

The new report by the Pégase Chair reveals that more than 60% of French people want to travel by air in the next 12 months, which is almost equivalent to the demand in the period preceding the COVID-19 crisis.
In their new report published on December 1 st , 2020, the researchers of the Pégase Chair studied the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the behaviour of the French in terms of air transport.
Based on the analysis of the responses of a nationally representative sample of 1010 respondents, the study reveals that the French still have a strong desire to travel by air. Thus, 61% of the French intend to fly at least once in the next 12 months, which is almost equivalent to the 2019 level (63%).

On the other hand, while the number of French people flying is expected to be relatively stable, the total number of trips will probably decline due to a reduction in the number of flights taken by frequent flyers.
The report also shows a certain form of wait-and-see attitude among future air passengers, as the majority of them (55%) want to wait six months or more before getting back on the plane. As for the destinations envisaged by the French in the next 12 months, Europe is back as the main destination (71%), followed by metropolitan France (61%). As opposed to the pre-crisis period, the Overseas Departments and Territories (DOM-TOM) are the 3 rd preferred destination, as they appear to be less risky both legally and from a health point of view. The study highlights several measures that may increase the intention to fly in the next 12 months, such as measures that reduce or cope with uncertainty (for example, the possibility of cancelling or exchanging tickets without justification).
Health measures taken by airports and airlines are also appreciated by passengers, especially when they are combined with guarantees that borders will remain open. On the other hand, quarantines, both at arrival and on return to France, are not very popular and are seen as a brake on future travel.

Contact: p.chiambaretto@montpellier-bs.com

Attached to Montpellier Business School, the Pégase Chair is developed in collaboration with several scientific institutions including the University of Montpellier. Headed by Paul Chiambaretto, the Pégase Chair brings together around twenty teacher-researchers who devote part of their work to air transport and aerospace issues.
Click here to read the report.

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