The Great Airline Conundrum

A recent report on air travel shows just how deep of a hole the international travel industry is in, and just how susceptible it is to on-going travel restrictions. The work from Bain & Company showcases the great airline conundrum. How does one operate an airline when they can’t fly to enough destinations, with enough passengers to make it viable?

The report shows how difficult 2021 and beyond will be for international airlines.

The reality is that global airlines will continue to lose billions for years to come. As it stand now, most experts do not expect airlines to reach precrisis levels until 2024 or beyond.

The authors breakdown anticipated global airline revenue under four different recovery scenarios versus their precrisis forecast. Even the most rosy estimate is dire with global airline revenue now expected in 2021 to be half or even less than in 2019.

In any situation imaginable, airlines are in for a very tough time ahead.

The best hope for airlines, aside from more government relief, is a speedy vaccine rollout accompanied with a quick removal of travel restrictions, along with a return of traveler confidence.

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