Airbus forecasts that by 2032 the Asia region will account for 45 per cent of global passengers; this will make them the dominant flyers of the 21st century shaping the future economy class experience. Airbus has published a new research report about the comfort demands of Asian economy class passengers. ‘The Future of Comfort: Asia’ conducted by global future consultancy Future Laboratory, reveals new insights into the evolving demands of tomorrow’s increasingly influential Asian air passengers.
Kevin Keniston, head of passenger comfort, Airbus, comments, “The voice of the Asian passenger is fast becoming the dominant voice in the aviation industry and will dictate the future of flight. This new research clearly shows that comfort is paramount to satisfying the needs of long haul travel for the Asian population now and in the future. Airbus offers airlines the ability to respond to these market demands now. Our unique aircraft designs deliver comfort without compromise; the ability to offer passengers high levels of comfort whilst simultaneously delivering the most fuel efficient economics to airlines.”
The research reveals two emerging typologies of Asian travellers who, due to the rise of social media and shared global online experiences, have an increased knowledge of flying and will demand an enhanced level of comfort: New emerging affluent travellers are first time careers, aged between 18 and 34, highly knowledgeable and wowed by services and add-ons. High income frequent travellers are more experienced flyers, in the middle of their career and focus on personal time and comfort in the strictest sense, with seat width playing a key factor in their perception of comfort.
Whilst their comfort expectations vary slightly, there is a clear commonality on the importance they place on a number of factors: Sleep, wellbeing and relaxation lead to higher productivity. This is of particular relevance in Asia, where emerging markets are opening up business opportunities and 70 per cent of travellers in economy class are flying for business in Asia. Asian passengers believe that the chance to rest on a flight unlocks higher levels of productivity, as opposed to the western view of seeing this time as a chance to catch-up on work. A productive flight is seen by the Asian flyer as one where they can relax (78 per cent), sleep (58 per cent) and then work (56 per cent).
Asians would pay more money for more seat space as it symbolises improved comfort and brings