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Coronavirus Impact on Air Travel

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Coronavirus Impact on Air Travel

Old 25th Aug 2020, 02:07
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Switzerland to be considered carefully for possible inclusion on the quarantine list for England. It's already on the list for Scotland

I'm wondering however if Bulgaria might possibly get onto the UK's good list on Thurs 27 Aug or 03 Sep. Daily case count seems to be improving

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Old 25th Aug 2020, 06:20
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Originally Posted by AirportPlanner1
in terms of support for aviation specifically the current U.K. Government has a lot of questions to answer.

So how much more money should not only this government borrow but other governments borrow to save aviation? Even if much of it fails due to this virus and household names disappeared there will always be new players coming out of nowhere to fill the gaps when opportunities arise while the survivors will emerge stronger with less competition.

Using Flybe at Southampton as an example. That airport was left with almost no routes when Flybe failed yet despite the pandemic other airlines are introducing replacement services for those more profitable routes.



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Old 25th Aug 2020, 06:43
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Originally Posted by davidjohnson6
Switzerland to be considered carefully for possible inclusion on the quarantine list for England. It's already on the list for Scotland

I'm wondering however if Bulgaria might possibly get onto the UK's good list on Thurs 27 Aug or 03 Sep. Daily case count seems to be improving
Only 10 Countries worldwide don't have this virus installed in their territory and that's called containment,and we are still drawing up travel bans,quarantine,exemption's lists etc.quite remarkable really.Well my favourite so far is Switzerland to Scotland,Yes you can arrive in the UK and stay but stay out of Scotland,Absolutely brilliant.
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Old 25th Aug 2020, 12:38
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Originally Posted by LTNman

Using Flybe at Southampton as an example. That airport was left with almost no routes when Flybe failed yet despite the pandemic other airlines are introducing replacement services for those more profitable routes.
It will be interesting to see whether the same happens at SEN following the loss of flyBE/Stobart Air and easyJet.....
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Old 25th Aug 2020, 14:30
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Originally Posted by LTNman
So how much more money should not only this government borrow but other governments borrow to save aviation? Even if much of it fails due to this virus and household names disappeared there will always be new players coming out of nowhere to fill the gaps when opportunities arise while the survivors will emerge stronger with less competition.

Using Flybe at Southampton as an example. That airport was left with almost no routes when Flybe failed yet despite the pandemic other airlines are introducing replacement services for those more profitable routes.
Very true. Unless things change very quickly I can see some very big and long standing names disappearing. The result with be directors and senior managers putting together new, smaller niche players to fill the void. Over time some will fail, others will merge, and in 10 - 15 years passengers will face the same lack of choice they have now, certainly for IT passengers - supposing of course the IT doesn't whither away on the vine as new technologies that we haven't even thought of yet rise up. In the interim think 1970s and 1980s, and to cover the flying perhaps a number of smaller primarily charter airlines.

As regards airports, it has been said for years there are too many commercial airports, not particularly in UK but across Europe. I don't doubt that a few will wind up as housing estates and business parks over the next decade, a process expedited by the fallout from Covid-19.
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Old 25th Aug 2020, 21:07
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Regarding business travel...

I'd like to ask people what percentage of recent business travel they believe was due to colleagues meeting up with colleagues vs people travelling to meet/see new clients for the first or second time? I think the former has only really been happening at the senior exec level for the last decade anyway (and it was increasing year on year despite major advances in video conferencing) and the latter is something that will be difficult to change even in a post Covid world.

Travel is a necessity if you want to woo a client. A physical meet and greet over lunch or dinner is essential for a business. I just can't see Agency Inc introducing themselves, their portfolio and their pricing model over MS Teams or Zoom to a new client. Theywill know that another service provider might gain an advantage just because of their physical presence and for that reason alone will not risk pitching their business remotely.

Last edited by CW247; 26th Aug 2020 at 06:27.
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Old 26th Aug 2020, 08:25
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Definitely. But I'd also like to know the prospects for the international conference scene, and the proportion of travel in business class which is not really employers business purpose in the strict sense of the term. Like many things, there is a spectrum from very inelastic to somewhat elastic.
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Old 26th Aug 2020, 09:18
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I am more pessimistic than you. Surely, to seal a multi-million deal a higher executive will probably go and visit the client, but some of the earlier meeting and proposals will surely continue to be done online, probably through Teams etc., and very likely from home. Two studies released today, one just surrounding UK and the other a global study suggests that the requirement for office space is going to fall considerably, and that will include meeting rooms.

I'm not sure when you were in business, you may still be and your sector somewhat different, but in my experience the "meet and greet" business lunch has, I suspect from in London, largely become a thing of the past. For the preceding 5 years up until I left my business roll in 2014 I didn't do one business lunch with a client, and they were frowned upon by the MD (Arkright!!) even back then.
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Old 26th Aug 2020, 09:23
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I shuttle pretty constantly between UK and Germany on weekly basis normally. I am now tending to do 1 week UK /1 week Germany and can see that going on into the New Year. On top of this we have the LH travel to projects, and to meet clients. So far I have done two of these, both to the ME and I am looking to ramp up these as things start to ease / people learn to live with this virus. Though Bojo keeps throwing the proverbial spanner in the works with his quarantines and frequent changes. I can not say LH travel is so much fun as it used to be, and I find it very difficult to sleep with a mask on, so do arrive far more tired than I used to, especially on Red eye flights. I think, and I have said this in previous post some months ago, that people will get back to actually meeting people and looking at projects rather than Zooming, as the interaction is poor in my opinion in that format, and we are hearing about some big errors coming out of some of our competitors who have over relied on the Zoom chat and the information imparted on it. Basically people lie, and it is less easy to tell on Zoom than in person.
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Old 26th Aug 2020, 09:45
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I absolutely agree with regard to the shortcomings of "Zooming" or Teams, there's a lot more to body language than facial expression, and in an ideal world face to face would revert pretty well to where it was. But again it depends upon the sector, large infrastructure or civil engineering projects are going to need boots on the ground at management and executive level more so than straight buying and selling of product, and particularly services. Large businesses (the publicly quoted ones) are wedded so much to financial performance and cost cutting is going to be key to that. Top of the list for getting the axe are things like staff welfare (canteens, perks etc) followed by business travel, bet that domestically or internationally. Things are going to be more than a little tight for the foreseeable future, and at very best some of the front-end business passengers may find themselves down the back with the plebs and that isn't going to be good for airline revenues.
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Old 26th Aug 2020, 10:31
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Totally on the same page as Mr Mac.
There are limits to what can be achieved through online meetings and let's not forget that online meetings were perfectly possible before Covid. Covid did not inspire any great advance in the ability to do so (although the service providers would have you believe that). So that speaks for itself - people voted with their feet and went to meetings.
I suspect many commentators on the subject of business travel are not actually 'in business' and can't understand why business doesn't work in the same way as a Zoom call with grandma. There is increasingly frustration among colleagues about the inability to get out there to make things happen. The result of online meetings is often to kick the can further down the road. Online meetings are handy for quick updates etc but anything meaningful results in unacceptable compromises.

The greatest risk to aviation now is the total lack of confidence that people have in it. I have had several 'have you booked anything yet?' conversations recently and the response is always words to the effect of 'why bother because even if you book, you don't know if the flight will actually go and then you have the monumental task of trying to get your money back'.
Unless this cycle of distrust can be broken, the airline business will enter a new period of doom.
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Old 26th Aug 2020, 12:10
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When we were based in the UK we had an accountant join us (ex DT) who came up with various cost cutting ideas for business from company car standardization, Hotel, Rail and air travel cuts, and deferring payment to suppliers to around 45 Days as we were then getting paid on average at about 30 days. We examined all the ideas, and implemented some, but not others, and reviewed all at 12 months. My comment and indeed action on his idea to cut air and indeed Hotels was to send our new colleague on a fact finding tour very early in his tenure,round some projects in the ME, India, Singapore. All flying at the back on the cheapest carriers as per his instructions with suitable cut price hotels. Unfortunately I could not get him on Iran Air but he did spend time on BIMAN courtesy of his idea. He came back to us not direct from SIN but via Dacca with suitable layover in the old terminal, and no lounge access. Needless to say he came home a changed young man and the flying hotel changes were quietly dropped. His company car plan was to go to VW/Audi for all company cars which upset some people, and after some catastrophic issues with the 160bhp Turbo Diesel (we had 3 A4 and 4 Passats in the garage with blown engines at one time) that was also dropped. He was very good at not paying tax to HMRC and tax breaks and wheezes were his stock in trade, but as for running a business and creating a team or indeed doing a project forget it. As for his payment to suppliers we proved to him that beating up on your suppliers was not what made our business grow, it was doing good work with good suppliers, who would go the extra 9 yards for you when asked because you treated them well. Our colleague resigned after 18 months saying we did not really understand what were doing, and that we would be bust in a few years (this was 2007). He left to join Carillion, need I say more. We operate worldwide and have tripled in turnover and profit since his time with us. He could count beans but he could not create one was my parting words to him.
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 22:21
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The feet on the ground donkey work is what makes a deal happen, boss going to sign up is really way past the point of no return. The technical / standards / legal / finance / ops people will want to already have visited new client / supplier / customer depending on their size long before someone big turns up to cut the cake.

These are the people who find out what is really happening and whether new relationship has a chance of even getting off the ground.

Involved in one situation where 15-20k was spent on travel seeing a potential supplier and understanding what they did was seen as a cost until the Technical / Standards and Finance reports were gone through. Lets say this was peanuts V the 1 million plus potential investment that was mooted, said other company went bust 3 months later.
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Old 29th Aug 2020, 10:04
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Number of cases for Portugal seem to have doubled in the last few days. Beginning to wonder how long Portugal remains on the UK's travel corridor list...
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Old 29th Aug 2020, 11:16
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I was thinking the same myself. Yesterday's 400+ new cases (source: Johns Hopkins) may be a blip, but if it isn't then I;d expect that within 14 days they'll be back on the naughty step. Looking as though they ought to be taken of said step is Sweden, with less than 100 new cases yesterday, and a graph that suggests the rolling trend is still very much downwards. Sadly there's not much all for beach holidays in the Baltic in September!

Final nail in the IT coffin for this summer will be when Greece goes on the list, unless the UK does something revolutionary and quarantines only certain areas - eg Athens and Thessaloniki, and keeps "safe" islands open. Nationally, Greek daily number are running higher than they were in the Spring.

Whilst the UK media is fixated on "British holidaymakers" there is real damage being done to the UK, especially the London, and I expect Edinburgh economies as a result of the collapse of inbound tourism to UK because, obviously, nobody wants to spend their 14 day holiday in UK in quarantine.
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Old 29th Aug 2020, 15:49
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This 14 day quarantine is nonsense anyway! With thousands pouring into the UK daily, how to they police it and with what resources?
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Old 29th Aug 2020, 16:19
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Answer? They don't!
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Old 29th Aug 2020, 16:43
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I understand Public Health England contact about 1 in 5 to check they are self-isolating, but as more countries are added to the list I expect they are overwhelmed to check even 10%.

Some newspapers a running a story about an air bridge between London and New York, just for residents of the two cities, being discussed by senior officials on both sides. NY has a rate of about 7.2 and London 11.3. The Americans are pressing for testing at the UK end, which is what people have been saying for months. Grant Shapps however doesn't have much faith in testing, so perhaps Bungling Johnson needs to intervene for this idea to get anywhere.
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Old 29th Aug 2020, 19:24
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Why only from London here in the highlands of Scotland our rate is lower than London (not that I want to travel just now)
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Old 29th Aug 2020, 19:43
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It raises the question again: does the government in this country actually want to support aviation?
No support package for any part of the industry that I can recall beyond the offerings that all business have had (although it should not be understated how hugely important they have been.)
With schools returning, office workers are now being encouraged to go back to work.
A cynic might wonder if MPs have interests in property companies that could lose out if people continue to work from home. Plus the exchequer will lose out on tax revenues from various sources. The lack of commuting journeys must be beneficial from an environmental perspective but I don't see that being mentioned much at present.
OK - the tax revenue issue is relevant with aviation too but maybe offset by the environmental topic and the politics around it which does make the news. I think it has been raised previously that an aviation downturn avoids lots of political trivails around LHR Runway 3 and other airport developments that were in the pipeline.
On the plus side, a large number of back-benchers from all sides of the house signed a letter to Rishi Sunak this week to again raise the aviation industry's plight. Let's hope those at the top start listening.
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