Hot Topic Brief: Impact of COVID-19 on the global airline industry

COVID-19, commonly referred to as the Coronavirus, is dominating headlines the world over. No industry has seen a greater impact than airlines.

Key Highlights

– The pandemic has completely upended the industry but following a period of almost exclusively negative news, some signs of positivity are starting to emerge as airlines announce planned flight resumptions.

– Ryanair announced on May 12th that it plans to reintroduce 40% of its flights from July 1st, just in time for the peak summer season. This is welcome news, both for the industry and for an airline that has cut 80% of flights in April and May.

– Lufthansa is expecting to operate to over 130 destinations worldwide by the end of June and Delta has announced flights between Detroit and London Heathrow three times a week starting May 23.

– easyJet joined the group of high-profile airlines announced plans for an increased schedule as it stated it will open some routes in France in the UK on June 15. The airlines aims to operate 189 flights per week on average. This is very welcome news for an airline that has seen its entire fleet grounded and which is wrestling with the fallout of a much-publicized data breach.

– These resumptions are however, contingent on travel restrictions being lifted, safety measures being introduced at airports, and regulatory approval. Airlines are trying to understand the best way forward but if a resumption is to work, they must be allowed to fly full planes. Leaving the middle seat empty does not leave a gap of anywhere near the recommended two meters in most economy class setups and the business model for many airlines simply falls down if they have to reduce capacity by as much as a third. This will only lead to higher prices, something which will be unpalatable to the price conscious, recession-hit consumer.

– How air travel will look remains uncertain and this makes it difficult to gauge passenger reaction to any changes. easyJet will require passengers to wear masks but this may not become an industry norm and very little clarity exists over how the airport experience will change.

Scope

– This report provides insight into the current state of play, offers a look at potential future scenarios and assesses the actions that airlines can take to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

Reasons to buy

– Gain an overview of the current global COVID-19 situation

– Understand the impact that COVID-19 is having on the industry

– Explore future industry scenarios

– Assess possible mitigating actions

– Compare key industry players' actions

Companies mentioned

Delta

IATA

easyJet

IAG

Virgin Atlantic

United Airlines

Ryanair

Southwest

American Airlines

Virgin Australia

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Analyst’s Overview

Current COVID-19 Situation

Industry Impact

Future Scenarios

Actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19

References

    Pricing

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