Why airlines that can pivot to ultra-long-haul flights will succeed in the post-coronavirus era
Source: The Conversation
Coronavirus sent shockwaves through the aviation industry. Liquidity-strapped airlines across the world have been sent into administration or part government ownership following global lockdowns and a massive reduction in air travel. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts the airline sector is heading for a US$84 billion net loss in 2020 as a direct result of COVID-19.
Many airlines are struggling to navigate uncharted territory. The ones that survive this crisis will have to be strategically creative. They must find a way to prioritise public health and sustainability, all the while maintaining profitability.
One way of doing this is to embrace the ultra-long-haul flight. In my research with aviation consultant Daniel Bloch and scholar Rico Merkert from the University of Sydney, we’ve been investigating why operators with ultra-long-haul flight capacity, like Qantas, are well placed to capitalise on the new normal when it emerges. As people’s priorities shift toward concerns for their health, ultra-long-haul flights have significant benefits over the current, more common model of stopping and changing planes at a big hub midway through your journey.
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