Airlines are making plans to fly jets only two-thirds full when travel restrictions are finally lifted, making tickets far more expensive?
Airlines are making plans to fly jets only two-thirds full when travel restrictions are finally lifted, amid fears that it will take up to two years for the aviation industry to recover from the novel Corona-virus crisis.
There will be no quick rebound from the pandemic situation, according to the International Air Transport Association, or IATA.
Global airline revenues are now forecast to drop by more than half — US$314 billion — in 2020, and it warned that the industry’s outlook grows darker by the day.
The most common single-aisle jets, used for short-haul flights, would cut seats available from 180 to 120, which could mean higher prices for passengers.
The loss of revenue is almost three times worse than its “worst-case scenario” from five weeks ago, with around 95% of international passenger traffic now lost due to travel restrictions.
IATA also described “worrisome” signs of governments “doubling down” on travel restrictions even when lifting lock downs — citing developments in China and South Korea.
Low-cost carrier Wizz Air said it is making plans to fly jets only two-thirds full to allow more space between passengers, and that such measures could blight profitability long after travel restrictions end.
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general, said leaving the middle seat vacant was among likely conditions for a resumption of air travel to be discussed with governments in a series of coordinated meetings around the world.
Operating aircraft with more seats has been a “key element of profitability for airlines,” which typically break even above 75% seat occupancy.
About 25 million jobs worldwide supported by aviation are at risk. Several governments have stepped up with new or expanded financial relief, without urgent relief, many airlines will not survive to lead the economic recovery.
Asia Times / ABC Flash Point News 2020.