What’s the Future of Air Travel and What to Expect
For the week starting May 18, 2020, the number of scheduled flights worldwide was down by 67.6% compared to the week of May 20, 2019.
The impact of COVID-19 can be seen in every sector of not only the most affected countries but also globally.
According to the Insider, a third of the world’s population is under lockdown, and a whopping 93% of people live in countries with coronavirus travel bans. The effect is devastating. But what’s the future of air travel?
The same source cites a new report from an analyst at Stifel predicting that air travel demand won’t return to pre-outbreak levels until at least mid-2021. This is the best-case scenario. However, it will restart just like it did after the financial crisis of 2008, for example.
Travel WILL revive, but the question is when really and what kind of transformation it will undergo.
Why will travel rebound?
Well, the travel industry has gone through a lot – SARS, Ebola, terrorist attacks, and many natural disasters. However, after all, the travel industry has always been able to get back to normal.
Because COVID-19 might be with humanity for quite some time and that we cannot keep the economy shut down forever, travel restrictions will eventually be loosened. However, things won’t be like they were in the pre-COVID era.
We have tried to compare a few insights from different surveys with those we have gathered on TruePublic. Here is an interesting thing to note – while according to a survey conducted by LuggageHero, 58% of Americans are planning to travel between May and September 2020, as long as their destinations aren’t in quarantine, according to TruePublic data, 55% won’t feel going on an international flight until there is a vaccine.
Moreover, 44% won’t feel safe going on a domestic flight until there is a vaccine.
According to another article by Insider, people might be required to take a blood test or nasal swab before a flight or upon arrival. Also, temperature checks might become the norm. And, you will probably have to cover your face throughout the whole flight.
In fact, 61% of the respondents on TruePublic said they would feel comfortable if required to wear face masks and surgical gloves to get on a plane.
And considering that a lot of people might forget to pack extra gloves and masks for their trip, vending machines might start selling personal protective equipment such as sanitizers, masks, and gloves.
However, a lot of travelers might expect to be provided with those things. In fact, 38% of the respondents on TruePublic said providing passengers with sanitizers is most important.
But this doesn’t mean people don’t care to pay extra money for the extra protection. It turns out that 41% of young Americans would pay extra to sit by an empty middle seat in an airplane if they had to travel after the coronavirus lockdown. This might also mean that flying could get more expensive if the airlines try to ensure social-distancing measures.
It looks like the future of air travel is still under clouds of uncertainty in some respect. However, what we know for sure is that it’s not going to be the way it was around 6 months ago.
You can find more insights about the future of air travel by downloading our The Future of Air Travel report.