The airline industry suffered one of the biggest losses due to Covid-19, with an estimated 81% drop in revenue and $519 billion in losses, across all companies. On top of that, new safety procedures and countrywide lockdown in some regions further contribute to this decrease.
What is to expect in air travel next year? Will it get better or worse? Read below a few insights about the main tendencies and expectations in airlines in 2021.
Contactless technology will be more commonly seen across payment, booking and self-check-in, as this will minimize cross-contamination and reduce lines and crowding.
If you are thinking of travelling abroad, odds are that you will certainly require mandatory travel insurance, despite your destination. Your trip should also be planned ahead, as rates have gone up by 27% in domestic and 18% for international flights. With reduced business flights, expect to pay even more on your ticket, as these premium seats usually are the ones that subsidize the rest of the flight.
For smokers, not much has changed. Cigarettes and e-cigs are obviously still prohibited inside the airplane. An alternative to that would be the use of snus. This moist and smokeless tobacco product is actually very easy to use and will help those either quitting or needing their nicotine “fix” during their long-haul travels. Snus was invented in the 16th century and is currently very popular in the Scandinavian countries, especially in Sweden. It comes in a variety of flavors and intensities for different tastes. There are no restrictions to its use in commercial flights.
But will there actually be a resurgence in flights next year? Well, all optimistic forecasts have one thing in common, which is that the airline industry financial performance will be intrinsic linked to how quickly the virus is brought under control by quarantine measures and the development of vaccines and treatments.
Clearly, this is something entirely out of the airlines control. In fact, most people will not go on an international flight until it is safe to do so. Vaccine development and deployment is already happening in some countries, which can generate the so-called “travel bubbles”, meaning that a few pockets of international travel routes will reopen in the near future. Still, even with a vaccine, specialists don’t consider that the airline crisis will be over soon.
Other covid-related economic consequences are the millions of jobs lost worldwide, reducing the average purchase power and leisure worldwide, also the migration into virtual meetings in corporate sectors, further reducing the need for business travels. There is still a lot to be discovered about this pandemic that makes investors and governments take extreme measures in different industries.
Researchers are still unsure about the reinfection and mutation possibilities, and second wave infections due to the loosening of quarantine measures tend to make a positive scenario in air travel something to watch carefully and in a conservative manner.