"Cheap travel is over," said an aviation industry official.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected the world in so many ways. Aside from the rising number of deaths and infections, the disease has likewise disrupted global economy. The total lockdowns implemented in many countries have led to loss of jobs and business opportunities, among many others.
The travel industry has also been at a standstill because of the outbreak – and now we’re seeing some of the negative consequences that could come to us in the near future.
Case in point, recent reports are telling us that airline companies may be forced to increase airfare by up to 54% because of COVID-19.
In a report by the South China Morning Post, we read that travellers should “brace for higher air ticket prices” as they observe social distancing measures in their aircrafts.
According to Brian Pearce, chief economist for the International Air Transport Association:
“[By] removing the middle seats, [the] cost of providing services is higher, eventually airlines will have to reflect that in fares to have viable operations.”
IATA, an organization composed of around 290 airline companies, said that aside from social distancing, carriers now have the sanitize their cabins more often and require their passengers to wear face masks to prevent possible coronavirus infection.
In an interview with ABC News, chief communications officer Josh Earnest of United Airlines said:
“This is the biggest financial crisis that the commercial aviation has ever faced.”
The company has cancelled around 90% of their flights.
So yes, air travel may soon go back to normal in many countries but with certain consequences. As IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac simply summed it up:
“Cheap travel is over.”
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