DfT survey: Recession ‘did not dampen’ demand for flights

The recession did not dampen demand for flights despite a dip in outbound trips last year, according to a government consumer poll that makes pleasant reading for the trade.

One in five adults in the Department for Transport survey expected to fly more this year than last – twice as many as expected to fly less. The other 70% expected no change.

The proportions are the same as in a survey in 2008 that pre-dated the recession.

Of those expecting to fly more, 59% intended to do so for leisure, 13% for business and 11% to visit friends or family. Only 3% mentioned cheaper flights, suggesting bargain fares are not key to demand.

But among those expecting to cut back, the price of travel was the biggest reason for flying less, with  one-third blaming the overall cost of holidays and one in four the expense of flights. Only 6% said they would fly less for environmental reasons.

The young appeared most keen on flying. Almost one-third of those aged 16-34 believed they would fly more in the next year, compared with 16% aged 55-64. The proportion who had not flown at all in the previous 12 months was 53%.

The survey of more than 1,000 UK adults was conducted by the Office for National Statistics in February and published last week.

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