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Is the airline sector in denial about its imminent collapse?

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Is the airline sector in denial about its imminent collapse?

Old 13th Sep 2020, 07:22
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Oz Domestic will bounce back fairly quickly. Once they have Melbourne under control, in 8-10 weeks they are looking at all borders open internally, that’s if Melbourne goes to plan. Essentially one big island closed for business from outsiders but those inside can move around.

NZ did that and it’s Dom market was essentially producing pre covid numbers a week in.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 08:05
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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I don't really understand all the drama related to air travel and meeting in general.
Guys, it is a respiratory disease ; a tough one, a nasty one, the one you do not want to catch but the principle of infection is the same as with other respiratory viruses : you mainly need exchange of droplets. If EVERYBODY wears at least a surgical mask or above (forget about the others) when less than 1.5m from another person, there is no effin way the virus can be spread around - be it in an aircraft or in a meeting room. With that in my mind we can at least recover short-medium haul as it is obvious that flying 10-12 hours on a LH flight and changing 2-3 times your face mask is highly uncomfortable, but that's fine, we will leave that for the moment we have hopefully an effective vaccine.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 09:09
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Nickler - you are correct about the virus - but that's not REALLY the problem - as TURIN said its the uncertainty - if I book a flight for travel in a month's time what are the chances that it will be cancelled, changed, or banned ? Pretty high I'm afraid - and getting your money back - ho, ho, ho

No Western Democracy can say " sure a few more people are going to die but it's worthwhile to save the airline industry" - the media and the voters would crucify them (oh for the days of Lee Kwan Yew and commonsense).

I'm (hopefully) travelling this week - but am I certain it'll be routine & trouble-free - no way. The Leisure market was built on cheap as possible mass transportation with 30 minute turnarounds - business on certainty, lots of choices and ability to vary your flights. Until there is a vaccine there won't be any certainty - and a lot of airlines are bleeding to death. When it does come back it won't be a great rush back - it will be tentative, slow and in a much reduced industry.

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Old 13th Sep 2020, 09:37
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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The issue is, broadly speaking, that holidays are supposed to be fun and relaxing. This is not fun and relaxing:

1. Masks from moment you enter your departure airport to moment you leave the terminal at your destination. Even for a short-haul flight this could be 5 or 6 hours.
2. 'Traffic light' style 'on / off' lockdowns at destination venues - do you really want to be stuck in a hotel room for 2 weeks?
3. 'Traffic light' style 'on / off' requirements to quarantine when you return to the UK - you could go when everything is ok but come back to find you are stuck at home for 2 weeks.
4. Minimal 'service' at hospitality venues when you get to your destination. Plus requirements to socially distance and wear masks everywhere. In 30 degree heat!?!

Testing at airports will not be the silver bullet - the tests are producing a lot of false positives and there are major questions about how much Covid has to be in someone's system before the are declared to have it. As for thermal imaging - who wants to book a family holiday then be refused permission to fly because someone's temperature is slightly off on the day. 'Covid refund guarantees' seem to mean nothing - airlines are being really tardy about refunding money.

Public confidence is shot. People are not going to fork out thousands of pounds to go on an 'enjoyable holiday' until a reasonable solution is found to all of the above.

Very deep concerns about the future of the industry which, of course, does not just involve pilots and cabin crew.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 10:06
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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I think you are spot on Asturias

Back in August 2014 the oil price dropped from steadily 120$/barrel to 27$ in February 15, and it has not recovered; may be never will. To be viable for the offshore industry it needs to be above 70$. The years from 2006-2014 were absolutely fantastic, That also was the fact for the rest of the suppliers, not just the helicopter companies. But a collapse in the barrel price meant a collapse in the supply chain as a whole. I see the same thing in the airline industry now, hence we need a vaccine and (almost) unrestricted rules like before March 2020. Before this happens, the airline industry and all the spill off, will suffer, and no one knows whee it ends, since time is ticking, and time is money spent, you never will be able to get back. Still after that it will take time. Government loans can not go on forever, and the industry will most probably not be able to pay it back, ever.
The GDP that the airline “produce” was until March around 3.6 % of the worlds economy, hence no one said stop, lets have a pause, is this sustainable? Should we keep on building hotels? Expand the airports? Should we stand on more than one leg (tourism), or be good at something else too? No one wanted to consolidate or build up cash for a rainy day. The party kept going like the oil and gas, and then the music stopped.

Where it ends no one knows, but it will be a completely game changer for the industry and the world as a whole.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 10:25
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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I think the response to this depends somewhat on where you're coming from - metaphorically, and to some extent physically.

Those whose livelihoods or lifestyles depend on aviation - not only pilots who are here, but also people who run airports, people whose incomes depend on airports or tourism, and so on - may be inclined to hope that this crisis must surely be over before long so that our lives will go back to how they were before Covid. These people's response is likely to be more or less what you see in post #12.

Those who are not in the first category and are not keen on mass aviation for whatever reason - global warming, noise, and so on - may be inclined to hope that this is a "creative disruption", a sudden event which irreversibly changes the business environment to the detriment of established players who may have become complacent, and to the advantage of innovators. If that view is right, then the aviation sector and everything that surrounds and depends on aviation may indeed be about to collapse or at least to be reduced significantly. The oil industry may be facing a similar disruption, as Easyheat mentions.

Who is right? At the moment, we can't know. We can never know what the future holds but now, especially, forecasts are mostly snake oil. If we're lucky, a reliable vaccine for Covid-19 will emerge, the world will be vaccinated (don't underestimate that logistical challenge) and 'normality' will resume, maybe as early as the end of next year. Or maybe the pandemic will simply run its course and Covid-19 will become just another of the many seasonal diseases, like influenza, that kill a relatively small number of people every year.

I'd bet on mass aviation resuming somehow. It's too important for the first world, and for influential people in the second and third world, to be allowed to go under. But I agree with Asturias56 that there won't be a great rush back - it'll be tentative, slow and much reduced, at least at first.

By the way, business shouldn't expect 'certainty'. Certainty is impossible. As I said, we can never know what the future holds.

Last edited by OldLurker; 13th Sep 2020 at 11:15. Reason: technical
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 11:13
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by lucille View Post
Recent reports show that antibodies from Covid19 last only a month or two”

Do you have a link.?

My understating is that only a single individual has been identified who has suffered a second infection.
I have seen 3 -4 studies that have shown varying degrees between one month and three months of protection. Granted these were all intermediate and the studies either weren’t finished yet, or they were small sample sizes and were looking to do more research.

Due to the nature of this being a new virus
everyone, experts included are shooting in the dark quite alot by the fact that there just hasn’t been enough time yet to do long term intensive research.

Im still personally thinking a vaccine of any description is a long shot. I give it about 85-15 against. Since 1960 when they first started trying to make vaccines for a coronavirus they have failed every time. It’s very hard to vaccinate for upper respiratory tract infections.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 11:30
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Recent reports show that antibodies from Covid19 last only a month or two
Latest papers suggest 78 days but with a significant interpersonal variation. However this is not the same as immunity. The immune system stores the data and makes new antibodies if it re encounters the pathogen. Otherwise our blood would be solid, not liquid, from the millions of infections we encounter in our lives.

To date there are three cases of reinfection where we have enough data to demonstrate it is true. In all cases the second infection was asymptomatic or parsi symptomatic. ie the antibodies worked to avoid serious illness.

Sadly this doesnt help aviation. We will get a vaccine and together with the natural progression of infectious diseases plus increasing numbers of recovered cases life will return to normal. Until then fear in some countries, lockdown regulations and quarantine in some countries, and the issues of losing your flight money in some countries will work in the opposite direction.

My guess is we will have a vaccine by December, start mass vaccination in Q1 2021, and achieve vaccination / suppression / remission in europe, north america and australasia by Q3 or Q4. Governments need to concentrate financial support on transportation and hospitality in the meantime

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Old 13th Sep 2020, 11:41
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by Le Chiffre View Post
The issue is, broadly speaking, that holidays are supposed to be fun and relaxing. This is not fun and relaxing:

1. Masks from moment you enter your departure airport to moment you leave the terminal at your destination. Even for a short-haul flight this could be 5 or 6 hours.
2. 'Traffic light' style 'on / off' lockdowns at destination venues - do you really want to be stuck in a hotel room for 2 weeks?
3. 'Traffic light' style 'on / off' requirements to quarantine when you return to the UK - you could go when everything is ok but come back to find you are stuck at home for 2 weeks.
4. Minimal 'service' at hospitality venues when you get to your destination. Plus requirements to socially distance and wear masks everywhere. In 30 degree heat!?!

Testing at airports will not be the silver bullet - the tests are producing a lot of false positives and there are major questions about how much Covid has to be in someone's system before the are declared to have it. As for thermal imaging - who wants to book a family holiday then be refused permission to fly because someone's temperature is slightly off on the day. 'Covid refund guarantees' seem to mean nothing - airlines are being really tardy about refunding money.

Public confidence is shot. People are not going to fork out thousands of pounds to go on an 'enjoyable holiday' until a reasonable solution is found to all of the above.

Very deep concerns about the future of the industry which, of course, does not just involve pilots and cabin crew.
I would beg to differ with that scenario. I have been to Cyprus twice and off to Italy tomorrow. All booked within 3-4 of departure. Just check the numbers per 100000 and if it’s below 10 there is no chance you will get caught in the changing quarantine situation.

Yes you must wear a mask on arrival at the airport, but as soon as you are through security you Plonk yourself down at the bar or restaurant and mask off until boarding time.

All flights I have been on have been at between 25-33% full. After take off everybody spaces out and you have plenty of room. On all flights I have seen some people opening a big bag of crisps or pringles and slowly eating them throughout the flight negating having to wear a mask (as you don’t need to wear a mask while eating or drinking). I personally find this wrong but.... as I’m at least 10 feet away from them it doesn’t bother me much.

once at your destination it is amazing. Lovely summer weather without the crowds. Can always get a table at any restaurant you want when you want. Your comment about wearing masks in 30 degree heat? You only need to wear a mask indoors, and a lost all restaurants are outdoor seating or at least have an outdoor seating area. The last time we were in Cyprus I believe I only wore my mask twice, both times
at the supermarket.

Would I book something for October right now? No, but I would book something for October in October say 3-4 days ahead of time.

Sorry just remembered the most cumbersome
and stressful aspect of going to Cyprus. You
have to have a negative Covid test
to get in.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 12:18
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Once governments get out of the way, the industry can pick up. There has to be a lot of pent up travel demand. Loads of people travelled home from the country they worked, halfway around the world. Those people will probably need to return to that work. Lots of separated families will want to reunite. Remote working and virtual meetings don't cut it for making deals, or university courses, or buying, or any of the myriad reasons people travel for business. There is demand for leisure travel.

We have to be patient.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 12:56
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by highflyer40 View Post
I would beg to differ with that scenario. I have been to Cyprus twice and off to Italy tomorrow. All booked within 3-4 of departure. Just check the numbers per 100000 and if it’s below 10 there is no chance you will get caught in the changing quarantine situation.

Yes you must wear a mask on arrival at the airport, but as soon as you are through security you Plonk yourself down at the bar or restaurant and mask off until boarding time.

All flights I have been on have been at between 25-33% full. After take off everybody spaces out and you have plenty of room. On all flights I have seen some people opening a big bag of crisps or pringles and slowly eating them throughout the flight negating having to wear a mask (as you don’t need to wear a mask while eating or drinking). I personally find this wrong but.... as I’m at least 10 feet away from them it doesn’t bother me much.

once at your destination it is amazing. Lovely summer weather without the crowds. Can always get a table at any restaurant you want when you want. Your comment about wearing masks in 30 degree heat? You only need to wear a mask indoors, and a lost all restaurants are outdoor seating or at least have an outdoor seating area. The last time we were in Cyprus I believe I only wore my mask twice, both times
at the supermarket.

Would I book something for October right now? No, but I would book something for October in October say 3-4 days ahead of time.

Sorry just remembered the most cumbersome
and stressful aspect of going to Cyprus. You
have to have a negative Covid test
to get in.
Points acknowledged. But most people do not have the luxury of booking 2 weeks leave at 3-4 days notice. And nothing says 'all is not well' like everyone wandering round with nappies on their face.

Italy is on the quarantine list, and I think Cyrpus might be. But I'm not sure because the rules are ever changing at 5 minutes notice and, frankly, I (and most others) can't be bothered to become experts on them in order to enjoy a few days in the sun. And even if they are not at the moment they might be in 2 weeks time. But they might not be. So it's easier to not bother and 'stay-safe' (ha ha!) at home.

I'm thinking about taking time off around Christmas but simply do not want to take the risk of booking something and then having to fight the airline for a refund when the country I want to travel to ends up on a 'list'. Plus at least one of the people I want to go with is absolutely terrified of the virus, notwithstanding the fact they are a physically fit female in their early 30s with absolutely no underlying health conditions and a risk profile which is statistically insignificant.

Travel and tourism cannot sustain itself on 20-30% capacity. It's simply not financially viable. And this will become very apparent in about 6 months time when major carriers and hotel chains announce the next round of redundancies.

We need to get it all open again with a balanced, proportionate and sensible approach to risk. Those who want to travel should be allowed to do so with minimal restrictions and regulations. Those who are scared can stay at home for ever, worried that the sky might fall down.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 13:32
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Feathers McGraw View Post
Recent reports show that antibodies from Covid19 last only a month or two, if the vaccines being tested cannot do much better than this then having been vaccinated will be essentially worthless.
Why?

The world gets back to normal when COVID dies out, not when a vaccine is approved. If (say) 2 billion people became immune for 2 months, the amount of transmission is going to fall significantly worldwide.

Any amount of immunity for any length of time will help achieve the end goal.

The alternative is, of course, a cure for stupidity and perspective and the world could return to normal immediately. But that’s for another thread (maybe?).
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 14:19
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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I'm shocked that there aren't many incidents of "Karens" on planes because Karens are all over the US I've seen one temper tantrum from a Karen while I was waiting on line at MacDonald's one day
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 15:14
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pugilistic Animus View Post
I'm shocked that there aren't many incidents of "Karens" on planes because Karens are all over the US I've seen one temper tantrum from a Karen while I was waiting on line at MacDonald's one day
We may get off-topic here, but is there a male equivalent of a Karen? If not, perhaps we shouldn't use the term, though I expect we all know the type.

("Sky god", perhaps?) 😏
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 16:44
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Meester proach View Post
Great , need more doom and gloom

It was well-signaled in the thread-title.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 17:45
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by OldLurker View Post
We may get off-topic here, but is there a male equivalent of a Karen? If not, perhaps we shouldn't use the term, though I expect we all know the type.

("Sky god", perhaps?) 😏
​​​​​​ Quite simply, "Asshole"
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 18:17
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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I think the most salient point about travel I've learned in the last 6 months or so is that pretty much all of it is discretionary. I guess I always knew that, certainly for tourist travel, but the gamechanger is how quickly business travel has become a distant memory for most (both domestic and international).

With tourism you'll always get the desperate dan's who'll jump through fire for that 2 weeks in the Sun, but I doubt that will drive much above the 25-30% capacity mentioned above. Anything more than that relies on "normality" being restored, i.e. a vaccine. Even if a vaccine is released I'd expect it will be too late to fend off some pretty deep recessions in many traditional tourist markets, that in itself will further suppress demand for discretionary travel, be it stag do's in Krakow, weekends away in Nice, bucket and spade to the Med, etc. Once those economic side effects subside then yes I do expect tourist travel to pick up significantly, but this could be 4-5 years away to get back to pre-Covid levels.

For business I'd say the outlook is even more uncertain, and potentially gloomier. My experience is that many businesses are finding (1) they are getting by perfectly fine with Zoom, Teams et al and (2) the cost savings generated from the 100% reduction in travel are huge. I honestly see very little incentive for big business to get back to normality anytime soon, or even ever. I'd expect a very gradual uplift in business travel as restrictions are eased, but with a very low likelihood of overall business travel ever returning to pre-Covid levels.

Therefore the challenge for the major airlines is to accept the new normal (at least for the next few years) and to adapt to survive, and principally this is all about cutting capacity and costs to a point where they support demand. As is often the case I suspect those that take tough decisions soonest will be best placed to survive and prosper in the long term, and those that do too little too late wont be around much longer.



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Old 13th Sep 2020, 22:52
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by OldLurker View Post
We may get off-topic here, but is there a male equivalent of a Karen? If not, perhaps we shouldn't use the term, though I expect we all know the type.

("Sky god", perhaps?) 😏
"Darren?" ...........
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 23:12
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by andrewn View Post
For business I'd say the outlook is even more uncertain, and potentially gloomier. My experience is that many businesses are finding (1) they are getting by perfectly fine with Zoom, Teams et al and (2) the cost savings generated from the 100% reduction in travel are huge. I honestly see very little incentive for big business to get back to normality anytime soon, or even ever. I'd expect a very gradual uplift in business travel as restrictions are eased, but with a very low likelihood of overall business travel ever returning to pre-Covid levels.
Whilst I generally agree that business travel as a whole will take longer to recover to the same level, if ever, it’s worth noting that not all business travel is “meetings”. A lot of “business” travel is merely commuting, and ultimately if you work full time in Dubai but live in London, you’ll still be traveling between these places regularly, often at the company’s expense. Business travel from Europe to the Middle East especially will recover fairly quickly for this reason.

And it’s not just big business either - even my physio commutes from Copenhagen to my sleepy town near London every week.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 23:24
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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As much as travel is discretionary in such a sense that it's not as essential as food, water or air, it still contributes a lot towards quality of life - and that reflects onto wellbeing and hence onto performance at the workplace. While businesses may have first been quite happy with the cost reduction associated with transferring all work communication to Zoom, many of those who use it regularly are already complaining of what some label as "Zoom fatigue". Just as lockdown fatigue. Many report frequently feeling disengaged during Zoom meetings - and surely failure of people to do their best, alongside with overall dissatisfaction with "the new normal", will eventually cost a business more than some travel and live interaction. Of course, there are and will be those who love it that way. Horses for courses. But it would be a gross oversimplification to say that everybody, everywhere will bin live meetings once and forever. Right now, circumstances force people to do it. But when the situation is no longer that pressing, I'm sure that many will gradually return to what used to be normal in the beginning of 2020.

Same for leisure travel. Most people simply don't want to live a miserable life of being confined in four walls and only seeing the outside world and other people through a computer screen. The whole misery of "work from home, shop from home, stay at home as much as possible in your free time and also spend your vacations at home" is only tolerable for a very short time for most people in their right mind.

So, the matter is not of whether mass air travel will exist in the future. The matter is more of ensuring the short-to-medium-term survival of the organisations behind it as having trading, viable businesses instead of just loads of planes, airports and people unorganised in any way will speed up recovery a lot. Not that it would be impossible to invest some cash into making a brand new AOC, get some planes on it and hire people to manage and fly them. But it would be longer and harder to achieve than restarting an already existing airline. Hence the need to do whatever it takes to preserve the existing companies. This might take some unpopular measures now, but those will pay back in the coming years.
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