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The role of lifestyle, quality of life preferences and geographical context in personal air travel

, Annika Sohre, Melanie Ströbel
Published: 28 April 2020

Abstract: From labels to carbon offsets, various interventions to reduce emissions from air travel have been discussed. If implemented, their effects have been negligible. This is exacerbated by ever-increasing numbers of air travellers. This paper argues that patterns of air travel behaviour are extremely diverse and that empirical findings for predictors are very mixed. Research also points to promising multi-dimensional constructs, which might explain the diverse patterns of air travel. This paper has three aims: (1) investigate the explanatory power of multi-dimensional factors, namely quality of life preferences, lifestyles and geographical context; (2) in addition to norms, values and perceived behavioural control; (3) all in relation to diverse travel patterns, flyers/non-flyers, for short/middle- and long-distance personal air travel. We control for socio-demographic factors. We estimate zero-inflated Poisson regression models, utilising data from 4235 Swiss participants collected in 2017. For short/middle-distance personal air travel, lifestyle, geographical context, personal norms, values, age and income are significant predictors. In contrast, long-distance personal air travel is explained by quality of life preferences and gender. These different explanatory patterns for short/middle- vs. long-distance flights highlight the need to differentiate interventions and trigger points to govern air travel behaviour.
Keywords: Lifestyles / quality of life preferences / segmentation / air travel / travel patterns

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