Once the pandemic is over, we will return to a very different airline industry

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The airline industry will wear the scars of the coronavirus pandemic for a very long time.

 On Thursday, Qantas announced it was grounding its entire international fleet. American Airlines suspended three quarters of its long haul international flights on Monday.

Significant demand shocks aren’t new to the airline industry. In this century alone it has weathered the storms caused by the 2001 September 11 attacks and the 2002-04 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome pandemic.

But we have never before seen a shock of this magnitude affecting the entire world for what looks as if it will be a very long time.

So, will the airline industry be able to handle this predicament? What role will and should the governments play? And, when all this is over, what will have changed for good?

Continue reading… “Once the pandemic is over, we will return to a very different airline industry”

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Driverless cars are coming for the airlines

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Our research has revealed just how much people’s travel preferences could shift with the advent of driverless cars.

As driverless cars become more capable and more common, they will change people’s travel habits not only around their own communities but across much larger distances. Our research has revealed just how much people’s travel preferences could shift and found a new potential challenge to the airline industry.

Imagine someone who lives in Atlanta and needs to travel to Washington, D.C., for business. This is about a 10-hour drive. A flight takes about two hours, assuming no delays. Add to that the drive to the airport, checking in, the security line, and waiting at the gate. Upon arrival in D.C., it may take another 30 minutes to pick up any checked bags and find a rental car–and even more time to drive to the specific destination. The average person would estimate a total travel time of four to five fours. Most people would choose to fly instead of driving themselves.

Continue reading… “Driverless cars are coming for the airlines”

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