Celebrating first year anniversary with new service provider, May 1, 2023
Air passenger traffic regained momentum in 2022, according to IATA, as travel restrictions were removed and passengers showed strong interest in travel. Passenger traffic grew from 42 per cent of pre-pandemic (2019) volumes in 2021 to 69 per cent in 2022. An ICAO report from February forecasts that air passenger demand will revert to pre-pandemic levels on most routes by end of first quarter of this year. It also forecasts 3 per cent growth over 2019 by year end.
The table below depicts the rebound in Canada.
Empire Life migrated its travel emergency assistance program from Allianz to Trident Global Assistance on May 1, 2022, just as Canadians began to take to the airways once again. “We’re extremely pleased with the service that Trident Global Assistance has given our plan members over the past 11 months,” said Vanessa Lycos, vice-president of group product marketing at Empire Life.”We set the expectation that plan members’ calls would be answered within 20 seconds 80 per cent of the time. Trident really outperformed— answering calls in under 20 seconds, 93.5 per cent of the time, which is excellent.”
Magdi Riad, President and CEO of Trident Global Assistance says that thorough planning was critical to a smooth transition. “I truly believe we planned really well for the transition. We dedicated enough time to make comprehensive plans, then we executed well. Empire Life has been a fantastic partner throughout our first year.”
Trident’s director of claims and assistance, Dragana Kosic, says the pandemic changed Canadians’ views on travel and travel insurance. The pandemic imposed restrictions on many aspects of daily life, and Kosic believes this has had a spillover effect on the nature of plan members’ calls to the travel emergency assistance program. “COVID made people more planful— and more aware that insurance does not cover everything,” says Kosic. “So even today with COVID largely gone and next to no travel restrictions, people are still calling to check coverage details. And they’re asking for help in planning their trips more carefully.”
While travellers are planning more, Kosic also finds that Canadians are more bold than in the past. People today have so many more options than in the past as a result of explosive growth in the number and variety of service providers, airbnbs, and low cost airlines.” Travel is easier and more affordable than ever before, and people are taking advantage of the opportunities and travelling to the four corners of the earth like never before,” said Kosic.
Nathan Lui, the Empire life product manager responsible for the move to the Trident, is delighted that people are calling for pre-trip planing assistance, and says that service excellence is a motivating factor for Empire Life. He credits good planning and the fact that the move to Trident happened during COVID-19 as two factors that contributed to the success of the transition. “We made the move at a time when fewer people were travelling, and this made everything easier and less disruptive for our plan members,” said Lui. “At the same time, Empire Life is a co-owner of Trident Global Assistance so our relationship has been different right from the start.”