The effect of online meeting and health screening on business travel: a stated preference case study in Hong Kong

Tiantian Chen, Xiaowen Fu, David Hensher, Zhi-Chun Li, Nang Ngai Sze (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study quantifies the effects of health control measures at the airport on passenger behaviour related to business travel. A stated preference survey was conducted over potential air travellers in Hong Kong in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. Panel latent class models were estimated to understand passenger preference toward new travel requirements given the applicability of online meeting. Online meeting is applicable in cases where it is a good substitute of air travel and achieves the same outcomes of a trip, and inapplicable otherwise. Empirical results indicate that traveller subgroups are affected in different ways. When an online meeting is inapplicable, nearly 75% of the respondents prefer to travel for business and undertake health screenings. These passengers (identified as “captive” business travellers) perceive such measures necessary to lower health related risks during air travel. As such, they are willing to spend up to 21 to 38 min on the health control measures such as vaccination record requirements and test involving sample collection. When an online meeting is applicable, the share of “choice” business travellers is about 45%, among whom the attitudes towards health control measures become more averse. The average weighted willingness-to-pay for the time saved at health checkpoints increase significantly. The aviation industry thus faces a “double-hit” problem: operation costs will increase due to pandemic control measures, and the resultant inconvenience, extra time and costs further reduces travel demand. Unlike previous short pandemics, business travel is likely to suffer with an extended decline until the pandemic is fully controlled. These identified challenges call for financial and operational support to help the aviation industry reach a sustainable “new normal”. The high value of time saved at check points also justifies investments that make the pandemic control and health measures efficient and smooth. Travellers’ time spent on airport health control should be within 20 min to avoid substantial negative impacts on business travel demand.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102823
JournalTransportation Research, Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review
Volume164
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Air travel
  • Aviation industry
  • Passenger preference
  • Passenger health screening
  • Online meeting
  • Willingness to pay

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