Columns and Commentary

Qwick Takes: How will the pandemic change air travel?

March 26, 2021

Posted by Irina Slav

This week, TalkingBizNews Deputy Editor Erica Thompson reached out to Qwoted’s community of experts to inquire about the future of air travel and how the pandemic has affected the industry over the short and long term. Check out some of the top commentary:

Sukhi Jutla, Co-Founder & COO at MarketOrders:

The travel industry, like all industries, will see a small increase in prices in terms of having to do extra processes or buy extra PPE, disinfectants, etc. to maintain a COVID safe environment but these costs will not be overly huge as the cost of PPE and cleaning materials has come down compared to the start of the pandemic when demand was stripping supply. The permanent changes we may see in this travel industry could be the need to see certificates of vaccinations, temperature testing at airports, better air conditioning onboard airplanes, more thorough cleaning rituals onboard but on the whole i feel the industry will bounce back in 2022 fully as air travel is a vital part of many people’s lives.

Chad Bolick, Executive Director in Morgan Stanley’s Philanthropy Management Group:

I believe that rather than a return to normal, we may be moving toward a desire for more thoughtful, authentic travel experiences in the post-pandemic world, which includes an increase in “slow travel.” Rather than spending weeks jumping from destination to destination, slow travel means renting a cottage or apartment for a week at a time, and exploring your immediate surroundings on foot or by car. For the foreseeable future, I believe that travel is likely to look a lot like it did in the 1970s, when local road trips were the norm, international travel was a very expensive luxury, and trips lasted longer.

Caroline Lee, Marketing Director, Co-Founder of CocoSign:

It will take years for travel to return to its pre-pandemic levels. And in the meantime, with the loss of most of its revenue, airlines are expected to temporarily ramp up additional fees to get back to profitability, at least until the vaccines have been fully doled out across the globe. However, something to consider is the fact that business travel which has been especially critical for airlines to churn out record profits, may now never fully be the same, as some businesses permanently opt to adopt videoconference meetings and phone calls instead. So, that could also end up affecting demand and how the prices swing in the future.

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