It’s no secret that the travel industry has been severely impacted during the pandemic. One part of the industry that has been especially suffering is the airline industry. Demand for flights has gone down by 90%–worse than the 9/11. As a result, airlines have been relying on government-issued bailout funds to stay afloat.
The question remains: Once we can see a significant enough improvement in the number of COVID-19 cases, can we expect to see cheap airfare again? Read on to learn more.
Industry analysts and executives recently interviewed by Conde Nast Traveler believe that much of what will happen depends on how fast passenger volumes can increase again back to what they used to be before the pandemic. That is in part in the hands of the airlines. They expect to see an uptick in vacation bookings and other types of leisure travel once lockdowns end. But in order to encourage that, airlines will most likely offer unprecedented deals on flights that will make them irresistible.
This type of strategy will most likely come in the form of flash sales to help stimulate airline financial growth at least as it pertains to domestic flights. But pricing is only one area that will be competitive. Analysts believe other ways airlines will compete will be in terms of easing up fare restrictions and adjusting rebooking rules. How long could airlines use these strategies? Analysts believe it might go well into next year.
The travel industry has been eyeing how China’s travel industry has responded as it has begun to slowly recover. There, they have reduce airfare pricing by up to 40%. This is a move that airlines in the U.S. might also adopt.
The other question that comes to mind is how long it will take to get demand back to what it used to be in 2019. Analysts believe it might take up to the year 2023 or longer before that will happen but we may begin seeing some improvements by the first quarter of next year.
However, others feel that ticket prices might need to increase or operating expenses must be reduced to help airlines bounce back. Passenger-protection measures such as onboard social distancing which require airlines to eliminate the use of the middle seats has also taken a toll on airline growth.
These measures are expected to continue making it especially challenging and airlines would need to increase ticket prices to make up for the number of seats that they can not sell. In addition, the number of planes has reduced so there are fewer seats than before.
What will the future hold? We don’t know for sure yet but we are keeping our eyes and ears open. No matter what, we’ll be here to help you with any questions or information you need so you can make the best decisions for you and your loved ones when it comes to travel.
If you are interested in learning more about booking future travel, please contact us at 1-877-530-5560 or complete our Contact Form and we’ll put together the perfect travel arrangements and itinerary for you!
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