Expected Change in US Air Travel after the COVID-19 Pandemic
Expected Change in US Air Travel After the COVID-19 Pandemic
Project Duration: 12 months
Project Budget (Federal UTC Funds): N/A
Project Budget (Cost-share): N/A
Institution: Arizona State University
This project studies the expected change in post-pandemic air travel for both personal and business travel purposes. The COVID Future survey serves as the data source, with 7,593 respondents from across the US who completed the survey (wave 1) between June and October 2020. The weighted survey data indicates that 40 percent of pre-pandemic frequent business flyers are expected to decrease their air travel after the pandemic, while 20 percent are expected to increase. Similarly, 35 percent of frequent personal flyers are expected to decrease their air travel, while 19 percent are expected to increase. Among all of the expected changes in post-pandemic air travel, it is more likely that a decrease in business air travel will remain. The most frequently stated reasons for the decrease in business air travel are related to long-term COVID-related realizations such as the effectiveness of online meetings. An Integrated Choice and Latent Variable (ICLV) model structure has been developed to simultaneously model the expected change in post-pandemic personal and business air travel as a function of latent attitudinal constructs and general socioeconomic and travel behavior variables. Older people, women, and people who have positive attitudes toward telecommunication are more likely to decrease their business air travel after the pandemic compared to the rest of the sample. Long-term decrease in business air travel has potential positive sustainability impacts. However, the economic implications of less business air travel may bring about permanent changes in the aviation industry.