With the current headlines in the news where COVID19 cases are still high and new variants keep expanding, you might think this headline is unbelievable. However, society has a growing travel demand, the aviation sector itself of course wants this too.
What signs do we see at the moment?
Demand for air travel, especially for the summer 2021 season, is increasing. Due to increasing numbers of fully vaccinated people, entry restrictions are not as hard as earlier anymore. With decreasing restrictions, the barrier lowers and passengers are considering travel again. These travels do not only cover travels on the ground, but also air. SWISS, for example, reported an increase in bookings throughout the summer. As long-haul flights are still with relatively high restrictions, mainly destinations within Europe see an increase in demand.
Another very promising sign came from United Airlines. In June, the airline expanded their order of new B737 Max to up to 200. In addition, 70 Airbus A321neo were ordered. The promising future after COVID offers high potential and the airline wants to be prepared for it. For this reason, also Southwest Airlines expanded their order by 34 aircraft.
Important factors for success
while we see some promising signs, there is still a long way to go until we reach normality within the aviation sector. To achieve this goal, two main conditions have to be met:
- Travel restrictions have to disappear: Only with easy access to traveling and entry, people will consider longer travels. To do so, the numbers of COVID19 cases have to be at a minimum, and in addition, the number of vaccinated people has to be at the maximum possible.
- Flexibility: With all this uncertainty, airlines (and other tourism partners, such as hotels, etc.) need to offer flexible and simple options. If a potential passenger would need to chase his money, he will hesitate to book any flight. When knowing that any change in the overall situation will not end in a financial disaster, the willingness of booking a flight will increase. This will support any airline’s cash flow and hopefully minimize actions regarding fleet or staff reduction.
For more than a year, we all are in a world, where the only certainty is uncertainty. We all could not imagine what a world suffering a pandemic will look like. Now let’s hope that we will successfully fight this virus and can gain back a small part of normality.