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Air NZ ranked one of world’s most trusted airlines

News Release

Air New Zealand ranked as one of the world’s most trusted airlines
by Asia Pacific air travellers in
Unisys Trusted Enterprise research study

Local carriers off to flying start for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Air New Zealand ranks in the top four most trusted airlines, along with Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qantas, according to a new independent global research study commissioned by information services provider, Unisys.

The Unisys Trusted Enterprise study revealed that air travellers in Asia Pacific rank their locally-based carriers to be more trusted than airlines based in Europe or America.

The study also found that Asia Pacific air travellers rank safety and security as the most important factor to build (75 percent) or erode (87 percent) trust in an airline.

Suzanne Carter, Vice President, Commercial Industries, Unisys Asia Pacific said, “Trust is much more than simple customer satisfaction – it is a measure that businesses should carefully monitor and manage to ensure that their organisation is perceived as a trusted enterprise. With the growing number of airlines in Asia Pacific, customers not only want to trust that you will have a safe flight, they want to trust that you will arrive on time and that your luggage will arrive with you.”

Conducted in January 2008 by the Ponemon Institute*, the research examined consumer trust of 40 major airlines in Asia, Europe and America by 2,869 respondents from New Zealand, Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. It is part of the ongoing global Unisys Trusted Enterprise study which explores key factors that build and erode trust in companies across a range of industries and government agencies.

The results boded well for local airlines in the lead up to the Olympics: “Trust will be a key factor when sports enthusiasts, holiday makers and convention organisers from across the region select which carrier they will use to fly in and out of Beijing,” said Ms Carter.

Accordingly to the New Zealand Olympic Committee, approximately twice as many New Zealanders will travel to Beijing for the Olympic Games from 8-24 August 2008 as travelled to the Athens Olympics.

Defining trust
A trusted enterprise is an organisation that is seen to embrace a unifying set of values that guide and shape the organisation’s strategy, core operations and culture. It successfully manages people, processes and technologies across the organisation and is perceived as an ethical company that treats its stakeholders with respect and integrity.

To determine the level of trust, the Unisys Trusted Enterprise study looks at seven broad characteristics (innovation, risk aversion, dependability, predictability, ethics, strategic focus and economic prudence) and 28 supporting attributes, one of which is customer satisfaction. These characteristics and attributes relate directly to the public’s perception about the organisations with which they have a relationship – they are factors that can build or erode trust.

Trust and Airlines in Asia Pacific
Asia Pacific airlines made up seven of the top ten most trusted airlines. The average score was .74 and the 20 carriers that occupied that “above average” position were all Asian, Middle East, or European carriers. American carriers all ranked in the bottom third.

“China-based airlines are in a tremendous growth phase to meet the rapidly growing demand for air travel by both business and leisure air travellers driven by China’s strong economy. During such a growth period carriers can differentiate themselves from each other by simply being able to provide capacity on desired routes. However once sufficient air travel infrastructure has been built, Chinese carriers will also need to find stronger connections with their customers to keep them loyal. Fortunately, they do not need to look too far to find global best practice right here in Asia Pacific,” said Ms Carter.

Security and Trust in Airlines
The study identified safety and security as the most important factor to build or erode trust in airlines in Asia Pacific. However, similar to the research results in Europe and North America, Asia Pacific air travellers are frustrated with the pervasive security and hassle factors of air travel. Two thirds of Asia Pacific respondents said they would accept the use of biometric identification if it would improve the security process.

“It is evident that passengers lose faith in airlines when air travel becomes an unpleasant, stressful experience,” says Ms Carter. “Many airlines and airports are investing in biometric technologies to make the customer experience less stressful. Customers are willing to opt into using new technologies if they can see a clear benefit such as less hassle and greater convenience.”

Other trust building attributes after safety and security (75 percent) included customer satisfaction (70 percent), longevity (64 percent) and respect of customers (62 percent). Whereas eroding trust attributes after unsafe and insecure (87 percent) factors were poor leadership (78 percent), customer dissatisfaction (77 percent) and non-compliance (72 percent) factors.

In contrast to both Europe and North America, only 19 percent of Asia Pacific respondents chose an airline on the basis of cost while 30 percent based that decision on service and amenities.

“The Asia Pacific market has different customer behaviour than North America. In addition, a relatively lower cost base and a strong service orientation has created airlines that are popular and in demand. Established corporate entities in this region are customer-focused and differentiated. The Unisys Trusted Enterprise research confirms that their efforts have been recognised and appreciated by their customers,” said Ms Carter.

Other facts about the Unisys Trusted Enterprise Research:
- Respondents: 49 percent male and 51 percent female with 89 percent under the age of 45.
- Almost half had taken one to five trips in the past year, but 23 percent had not flown in that period.
- Half flew a combination of domestic and international flights with 24 percent being solely international and 25 percent flying only domestic sectors
- A quarter of the respondents flew exclusively Business or First and 38 percent flew only economy. The balance flew some of both.
- 60 percent belonged to a frequent flyer program and of that group, 28 percent had a premium status in their program.
- Unisys provides services to 200 airlines globally and 400 of the world’s airports. Its solutions process more than 30 per cent of the world’s airline passenger reservations.
* Ponemon Institute conducts independent research, educates leaders from the private and public sectors and verifies the privacy and data protection practices of organisations.

About Unisys Asia Pacific
Unisys offers clients solutions for secure business operations by aligning technology with business strategy. Drawing on a history of industry innovation and expertise, Unisys provides specialised services, delivered by trusted consultants. In Asia Pacific, Unisys delivers services and solutions through subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand and through distributors or resellers in other countries in the region. For more information, visit

About Unisys
Unisys is a worldwide information technology services and solutions company. We provide consulting, systems integration, outsourcing and infrastructure services, combined with powerful enterprise server technology. We specialise in helping clients use information to create efficient, secure business operations that allow them to achieve their business goals. Our consultants and industry experts work with clients to understand their business challenges and create greater visibility into critical linkages throughout their operations. For more information, visit


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