The world is hurting from COVID-19, and the airline travel market affects many different industries around the globe and has drastic negative effects when these airplanes are not up and running as the companies anticipated. If travellers are not flying, hotels are not being stayed in, restaurants are not being visited and many other businesses are not getting sales from tourists and business travellers. The trickle effect of not having regular air travel spans across industries from travel agents and janitorial services, to grocery clerks and laundry service attendants. Consequently, there are not many businesses that aren’t impacted when the airlines are not operating at maximum level.
How Many Airlines Are Hurt by COVID-19?
It is safe to say that every airline operating today has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. While some larger big-name companies can weather this storm, other smaller airline companies will not be able to ride it out and will have to eventually close their doors. There are approximately 800 different airlines operating around the world today, but without regular travel for an extended period of time, the cash flow won’t be there to sustain the smaller businesses.
Most recently, the Airlines for America lobby group has received from the United States government the $60 Billion in assistance they appealed for previously, to help their air travel businesses, as they wait for the COVID-19 outbreak to slow down. In addition, Virgin Atlantic has been asking the U.K government for £7.5bn assistance, backing their need with the threat of tens of thousands of jobs lost without any help. Their founder Sir Richard Branson has offered to personally kick in $250 million as a rescue package to help alleviate revenue loss.
Many other large airline travel companies have been reported to start seeking out lines of credit and loans, as a means to gain some instant cash flow so they can continue to remain afloat until travellers start moving again. In the cases of smaller airline companies, government assistance and loans, unfortunately, are not feasible options available to them.
The Repercussions of Less Flights
With approximately 80% less planes currently travelling in the skies, it can be overwhelming to realize how many people are affected. From airline staff that has direct contact with the planes and airports, the staff at hotels, and even those working in the oil and gasoline industry, who help fuel and maintain airplanes, there is no end of workers that are now feeling the impact. And when citizens are not working regularly, they are not spending their disposable income in their places of residence, therefore, drastically affecting their own local economy. Job cutbacks and job losses are a major factor when looking at less air travel around the world.
One major downfall of the airline travel industry is the lack of international flights. With borders currently closed with specific government restrictions in place that limit local and overseas travel, to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines are suffering immensely. Eventually, planes will begin to fly internationally again, but will there be enough of a rebound to sustain these air travel companies? With the rules and regulations constantly changing, on what feels like a daily basis now, one can only hope that personal and business travellers once again return to the skies when travel restrictions are removed and it is safe to fly.