Three low-cost Indian carriers – IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir – feature in the top five list on the January 2021 Leaderboard for Safe Travel Score among Asia Pacific Airlines. Air India features in the top 10 full-service airlines.
Even as countries inoculate their population with COVID-19 vaccines, resumption of air travel services, particularly international, is still expected to be gradual in 2021. Over the last year, airlines have implemented various initiatives to safeguard passengers and crew in the ‘new normal’. The widespread and varied nature of these initiatives called for industry benchmarking to boost traveller confidence and jumpstart industry recovery.
Launched during the pandemic, Safe Travel Barometer is a travel technology solution provider whose tool enables the industry to monitor and benchmark traveller experience and COVID-19 health and safety protocols of more than 2,000 suppliers across 10 industry categories. Specifically, Safe Travel Barometer tracks 32 initiatives across 268 airlines – both full-service and low-cost carriers (LCCs). Based upon the publicly announced initiatives, airlines are benchmarked on the basis of a Safe Travel Score.Initiatives of 86 airlines in Asia Pacific (APAC) were assessed in January 2021. China’s Air China and China Southern Airlines achieved the highest Safe Travel Score of 4.1 each among full-service airlines. Malaysia-based AirAsia led the baton among APAC LCCs with a Safe Travel Score of 4.0 in January 2021. A pioneer in the region, AirAsia excels across multiple initiatives attributed to COVID-19 Traveler Safety and Traveler Convenience subcategories.
Compared to other regions, APAC has the highest share (8 per cent) of airlines with a Safe Travel Score of 4.0 and above. Full-service airlines which also feature on the APAC leaderboard include China Southern Airlines with a Safe Travel Score of 4.1. Airlines which followed suit at 4.0 include All Nippon Airways, Qantas Airways, Vistara and Cathay Pacific. The APAC LCC leaderboard is equally competitive. Seven airlines are at the heels of AirAsia – IndiGo and SpiceJet – with a Safe Travel Score of 3.9 in January 2021.
Virendra Jain, Co-founder and CEO, Safe Travel Barometer, states, “Despite the regional diversity, Asian carriers continue to introduce a slew of measures in conjunction with airports and destinations to enact air corridors. These are trying times for the airline industry, where regulations and compliance pertaining to travellers’ health play a central role. We believe that health will emerge as the fourth standard of travel, much like passports, visas
and security. This will fundamentally alter how airlines and travellers comply with destination regulations.”