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Who is waiting at the gate? An analysis of European passengers

Have you ever wondered about all the different people at the airport? Almost all of us have been waiting at the gate and watching passengers walking past. An airport is a melting pot where people with all backgrounds come together.

Passengers’ travel behaviour, their preferences regarding destinations, their travel budget and experience sought are influenced by various factors like income, age, gender, household structure, country of origin, the educational level, but also their usage of information and communication technologies, their environmental awareness, or their value of time. Bauhaus Luftfahrt examines these aspects to get a better understanding of current and future air transport passengers, indications of today’s air travel demand as well as expectations regarding the European transport system.

Within the “DATASET2050” project, several future passenger types for 2035 have been developed using this approach. The Environmental Traveller and the Digital Native Business Traveller are two of these passenger profiles. The first one is very environmentally conscious and part of a lifestyle that reduces air travel; he combines trips if possible and flies with as little luggage as possible. He might be willing to pay for a carbon offset scheme to compensate for his own air journey. The latter one represents today’s digital-savvy generation Y and Z in the workplace, is hyperconnected, and technology is deeply embedded within his journey. A high share of this passenger group will be female, as the increase in female tertiary education enrolment might lead to a rise in working women travelling for business purposes.

  • Factors influencing passengers: Essential factors influencing air transport passengers are the basis for deriving future passenger profiles. Some outlooks are rather vague; other developments are very well supported by data. Sources: eMarketer (2015), ESPAS (2015), Eurostat (2016), Euromonitor International (2013), ifmo (2013), OECD (2008), OECD (2011), PwC (2015), UN (2015), and World Business Council For Sustainable Development (2015)Factors influencing passengers: Essential factors influencing air transport passengers are the basis for deriving future passenger profiles. Some outlooks are rather vague; other developments are very well supported by data. Sources: eMarketer (2015), ESPAS (2015), Eurostat (2016), Euromonitor International (2013), ifmo (2013), OECD (2008), OECD (2011), PwC (2015), UN (2015), and World Business Council For Sustainable Development (2015)
  • Passengers of the future in 2035: The Environmental Traveller and the Digital Native Business Traveller are two future passenger profiles. They differ in main travel purpose, age, income, and travel activity, but also in behavioural factors. Source: DATASET2050 (2017)Passengers of the future in 2035: The Environmental Traveller and the Digital Native Business Traveller are two future passenger profiles. They differ in main travel purpose, age, income, and travel activity, but also in behavioural factors. Source: DATASET2050 (2017)