Back to Squawk list
  • 38

How The Airline Industry Will Transform Itself As It Comes Back From Coronavirus

Volume will probably not regain its peak for at least 3-5 years. Business travel will recover more quickly than leisure travel. Lots of changes coming... ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Look for the Airlines to MASSACRE your wallet, when this is over!! And add at least 2 more ROWS of seats! The 23,000+ mile 6 week Christmas trip that we flew on AA was one of if not THE WORST Flights in my 67 years. We paid $2,300 EACH to be treated like CATTLE by the American Airlines Crews. Bright spots were the short JAL flights from NRT to MNL & from MNL to HHK. The 15 HOUR AA Flight HHK to DFW, and 13 1/2 hour DFW to NRT we had one 6"X 4" SOMETHING MEAL and $6 Coke. And a dried out Turkey Sandwich, wet Bag of Pretzels and a cup of water AS OUR SNACK!!! You will need to Blindfold me to get me on another AA Flight. JAL treated us like 1st Class.. 4 Course Meals, Wine and Soda as we wanted. Lays Potato Chips & Chips A-Hoy Cookies with Coffee. AND, I could ACTUALLY put my Tray Table DOWN, unlike on AA where my face was 4 1/2 inches from the seat in front of me! Of the 4 legs to 3 countries each way, we were STUCK on AA for 3 each way. We ALMOST missed our DFW to MAF connection returning home, because they held the Aircraft for 40 MINUTES, Because a Illinois Senator and Family were in Traffic!!! Just imagine if that were YOU stuck in TRAFFIC. I wonder if they would hold a 777-200 at a Gate for 40 MINUTES!!
M. R. 0
On behalf of American Airlines, we are sorry for your difficulties. We do have our Premium Economy options on international flights for a little higher costs. This option might provide the level of service you expect at a fair cost.

JAL is part of our One World Alliance and we are happy they provided you with a great quality of service to make you trip that much more special.
sparkie624 0
It is going to be interesting.
Muchits 7
Very unlikely that it will be 3-5 years before volume is fully back at peak. The economy and industry was extremely strong prior to this, it may take a couple years but not anywhere close to 3-5 unless we go into a full recession.
sparkie624 5
I agree... Maybe a year or 2, but not 3 to 5
Steve Cravener -1
I doubt it will be back to the levels of this spring for at least 10-15 years, if then.
Muchits 2
Haha you're delusional! Look at how much air travel grew 10-15 years following 9/11
Funny how most business have to adapt to the customer - the airlines just get to screw customers with tiny seats to maximize their profits and then simply get bailed out by gov’t if business drops off. They should be forced to make normal seating accommodations to make spreading viruses less likely much less simply not having someone’s love handles keeping you warm in the middle seat.
Marc Collins 1
I'm annoyed by the cramped seats too, but the way I see it, nobody is forcing me to pay the cheapest price to be stuck in economy. I'm making that choice because the extra space in comfort or first class is not worth the price to me. If the airlines were forced to provide more space, ticket prices would need to rise to make up for it. I think it's better to keep ticket prices low and give people the option to upgrade, like the airlines are currently doing. It feels like we're being nickel-and-dimed, but it also gives us the option to book seats at cheaper prices.
If the airlines want people back in recored time they should take out some seats and add some room fore their people and their carry ons. du
I hope as they start focusing on customer service and a better product as they are forced to compete over customers. Loyalty programs have eroded. Systemwide upgrades have gone from 8 a year to 4. They use to mean if a seat was available you could use it versus a limited number of seats. Dilution of earned miles, etc. Some of these changes make sense, like being based on the dollar spent versus miles flown...but whatever the measure they need to attract frequent fliers.
sparkie624 1
I know United is still flying All of GoJet's CRJ 550's, even though the loads are light and not really breaking even on the best of flights... At least there is more room, taking 20 seats from a 70 plane really helps out, and with less weight on the A/C, it is cheaper to operate.... Seeing most of the other Carriers dwindle down to nothing... TranStates Airlines and Compass Airlines are totally shut down and will not be returning to the air.
M. R. 1
Well, good news If that’s possible, is non-rev travel will be a breeze over the next 24 months -
Over the last 2 years it’s been almost to impossible.
patrick baker 1
we will have a full recession- just the economic facts of life. Question is do we get to the numnbers that define a depression. Both business and leisure travel will come back bit by bit, and perhaps for a while we will have empty seats in the cabin, and perhaps we will have less surly , better mannered cabin crew , at least for a while. The three to five year expectation refers to full return of 737Max's, for that is a tangled mess awaiting resolution. Boeing has its hands full trying to fix their situation.
dodger4 1
I will be very surprised if many LCCs can survive this, because they have so much smaller profit margins and are in a poor position to weather the storm

They have depended on high capacity and tightly controlled costs to survive - neither of which is going to be available in the post-recovery.
well said Arthur Netteler
Robert Cowling -2
I've cancelled a few trips. Hoping to make the trip in October.

It's too early to tell how this will effect the world, and America, in the future. Being a zoonotic disease, it came from animals and crossed the species barrier to humans. This could mean that our own pets, and the wildlife in our yards, and neighborhoods could seriously be the next infection, the next pandemic, waiting to spring forth and kill hundreds of thousands of people again. It's looking better now that there doesn't seem to be any mutations being detected, but it's too early to tell. All it would take is one mutation with a new set of threats to humanity, and we're all walking dead. I remember discussing this 'crazy talk' in a college microbiology class. It was on the 'pre-med' track, so we were guided into a more medical direction, and the topic of a 'super bug' came up. And there ARE super bugs out there right now, but they are hard to catch, and aren't lethal. Even ebola and Marburg are actually hard to catch, and usually end up mutating to a non-lethal variant and lives are saved.

Who knows in what form we might face this bug again, and how soon. It's totally possible that this could all 'die down' by summer, but many educated people are saying that we will very likely face this full force again in the fall.

So, how should the airline industry transform itself? Maybe stop the multitude of flights. Maybe stop the regional jet services of less than hour long flights. Maybe be more responsible with the money they make (or are given), and not spend it on buying stock to enrich shareholders and management. Maybe be more receptive to mass transit taking over some of their routes (like many of their RJ routes). Pay more attention to world infection rates, and be far more proactive to closing down their massive gift to virus propagation?

The question of how to close down worldwide air travel was asked years ago in the guise of an ebola pandemic. The hesitancy of the industry to stop ALL flights to and from contaminated areas is deadly. There should be one commend, and one response: to stop ALL air travel. ALL of it. No one 'going home', no one continuing their trips, no one flying somewhere else to ride it our. All air travel stopping. All of it.

This will likely happen again. Perhaps next time we won't be so lucky, if you can call this luck.
Muchits 12
You don't seem to understand. The U.S. airlines HAVE shut down operations to most destinations outside the U.S. Additionally, the government has asked the airlines to continue to operate within the country (albeit at a lower level of service) to provide critical infrastructure.

Supply chains still MUST work if we expect to combat this disease from a healthcare perspective and airlines are a critical piece of that. Healthcare supplies must be moved and distributed across the country and from other countries into the U.S. Additionally, healthcare workers are being moved across the U.S. to places most in need (New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Louisiana, etc).

Finally you seem to have a nearsighted view on who is where across the world. There are expats and missionaries that are American citizens scattered across the globe that must be brought home during this time of crisis. The transportation infrastructure is crucially important to bring these people home as directed by the government.

You see, when you look deeper at the reasons and the bigger picture you'll understand that the airlines are NOT acting irresponsible. They are providing a necessary piece of infrastructure that without our supply chains would quickly crumble.
As far as I can tell, freight is still going. Probably increasing as no more passenger flights carrying freight.
Muchits 2
Yes freight is still going, however half of all freight is carried in the belly of passenger aircraft. Without essential passenger flights still operating, the available freight capacity would be cut in half and some communities would be cut off altogether.
dee9bee 11
I, for one, am doing my part. Besides social distancing and only going to WalMart once every two weeks, I've quit watching cable news cold turkey. It really helps!
Re "Maybe stop the regional jet services of less than hour long flights."

That depends on the alternatives I guess?

Here in NZ, it's 45 minutes from where I live (Hamilton), to Wellington. It's a 6 hour drive. The bus takes 10 hours. There's no train (other than a tourist train once a day that also takes 10 hours)

Amsterdam to Paris is 45 minutes. You can take the train which takes about 3 hours. Problem is, train ticket is 5 times the price of flying.
Howard Welsh 0
Always a challenge to make even short term predictions with this to say nothing of long-term. I definitely expect an impact on business travel. Companies are going to be hurting as it is, and when its obvious that much of what was being done face to face can be done virtually that business travel will be cut back dramatically and may not ever get back to prior levels.
Bring back the C.A.B. I love class distinction!! Screw the back packers. If they cannot pay for 450 mph travel pay for 60 mph. Trains & Buses need & love paxs. Airline executives are intelligent people. Stop this competitive drive to the bottom and let the cream rise. 2-3 years and it will operate with great profits and efficiency. Is PROFIT a curse word??


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
This website uses cookies. By using and further navigating this website, you accept this.
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.