The airline industry has been tasked by the pandemic to restore confidence and consistency to the travel experience. This report describes the many methods deployed by airlines to boost traffic and revenue during the recovery. The pandemic, and the long tail of its hoped-for demise, has thrust more work into the arms of airlines. Not only does an airline represent the first step for booking a trip, it now must act as advisor for the array of restrictions associated with travel. The rest of the industry, and its recovery from the pandemic, relies upon airlines to restore consumer confidence and reestablish consistency. American, Delta, easyJet, Emirates, and IATA provide examples of how to save the airline industry.
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Survey of 25 Leading Airlines Identifies Global Use of Four Strategies to Support COVID-19 Recovery – Press Release
CarTrawler-sponsored research finds that guidance for travel restrictions and Covid-19 testing is now provided by most airlines. Airlines are recognizing the need to expand Covid-19 care beyond physical safety measures to new areas such as providing more online information and service features. Face masks and disinfected aircraft have become standard consumer expectations. The recovery phase of the pandemic requires an expansion of these efforts. The following describes the key recovery-supporting features identified at airline websites during March 2021:
• Travel Restriction Info Provided: Airlines are posting information on the requirements travelers must fulfill before boarding an aircraft or entering a country.
• Testing Info Provided: Travelers now face the hurdle of getting tested shortly before departure. Airlines are taking responsibility for identifying local and mail-in testing options, and negotiating discounts.
• Key Covid Protection Included with Trip Insurance: Consumers are curious about buying protection against financial losses due to Covid-19 travel uncertainties. Airlines can advise consumers how the coverage sold at their websites protects (or does not protect) from Covid-19 risks.
• Change Fees Waived for New Bookings: Consumers hope for flexibility during these uncertain times. Most airlines helpfully continue to waive change fees to encourage confidence (and ticket sales).airlin
Covid-19 testing and health passports will help boost traveler confidence, but a well-vaccinated world is the most certain way to restore air travel. The IdeaWorksCompany 17-page analysis evaluates how airlines are affected by vaccines, Covid-19 testing, and health passports and how consumer perception of everyday threats likely plays a large role in the return of travel. The report includes an 8-point checklist advising airlines on the factors that will move consumers to feel the reward of travel is greater than the risk.
Business travel is likely to stay depressed as the airline industry begins its recovery from the pandemic. That’s the conclusion of a new report based upon a first-ever approach of assessing business travel by trip purpose, rather than industry category. The Journey Ahead: How the Pandemic and Technology Will Change Airline Business Travel is sponsored by global travel tech provider CarTrawler and was released today. The IdeaWorksCompany analysis estimates the frequency of different types of airline trips, predicts how that will change, and offers insights into how airlines can maximize new revenue in the future. Here are three key findings from the report: 1) analysis reveals a potential overall loss of airline business trips ranging from a low of 19% to a high of 36%, 2) travel for “sales activity and securing clients” is the largest category of business air travel (25% of the total); it’s projected to show a modest loss ranging from zero up to 20%, and 3) intra-company meetings comprise 20% of all business air trips, and are projected to decrease up to 60%.
Airline Ancillary Revenue Plummets to $58.2 Billion in 2020, Erasing 5 Years of Annual Gains – Press Release
IdeaWorksCompany, the foremost consultant on ancillary revenue, and CarTrawler, the leading provider of online car rental distribution systems, project airline ancillary revenue will drop to $58.2 billion worldwide in 2020, compared to $109.5 billion in 2019. The CarTrawler Worldwide Estimate of Ancillary Revenue represents a 47% decrease, dropping slightly below the $59.2 billion amount for 2015. Earlier this year, CarTrawler and IdeaWorksCompany reported the ancillary revenue disclosed by 81 airlines for 2019. These statistics were applied to a larger list of 134 airlines to provide a truly global projection of ancillary revenue activity by the world’s airlines for 2020. This marks the eleventh year IdeaWorksCompany has prepared a projection of ancillary revenue activity.
The 2020 Datalex Big Book of Airline Data is a snapshot in time and is based on the 2019 reporting period. The 77-page document, sponsored by Datalex, is a significant undertaking with a review of nearly 300 airlines to find traffic, revenue, and membership numbers for inclusion in the report. The information is presented in multiple formats to create user-friendly access to the data. The first part of the Big Book contains passenger traffic results for 208 airlines. The second part of the report contains revenue results for 180 airlines. The final section provides membership data disclosed by 42 frequent flyer programs.
CarTrawler-sponsored report encourages airlines to innovate and offers a 7-point checklist for building revenue during the pandemic and period of recovery. The essential elements of baggage policies and change fees had simple beginnings, but over time the quest for more revenue has created a structure poorly equipped for the COVID-19 era. In addition, the pandemic requires new sensitivity when developing revenue-producing plans. This report describes how this can occur for airlines in the categories of change fees, baggage policies, and the overall process of boosting airline revenue.
This CarTrawler-sponsored report offers recovery advice for the travel industry with examples from Emirates, Etihad, Hilton, Korean Air, United, and Xiamen Airlines. This report is written to help those working at airlines and in the travel industry sort through the issue of traveler confidence and how it can be restored. Individual airlines, hotels, vacation rentals, car hire, airport transfers, and sightseeing companies are already making decisions to ensure the safety of their customers, which will also increase traveler confidence in our industry.
CarTrawler-sponsored report focuses on post-virus consumer behavior and how airlines can best serve a travel economy in recovery. This report anticipates the changes that will occur as consumers return to airlines, hotels, and car hire companies. This report anticipates the changes that will occur as consumers return to airlines, hotels, and car hire companies. Here are some of the findings from the report:
- Southwest Airlines is among the most profitable airlines in the world, and has never charged change or cancellation fees. Making profits without these fees is possible.
- Weaker airlines will merge with others or simply disappear. Some hotels will close and be repurposed for other uses, or will sit empty waiting for travel to recover.
- “Safer close to home” will most certainly define the near-term psychology of leisure travel. Travel by automobile, passenger rail, and shorter flights will see the first indication of renewed demand, and this may occur in August 2020.
- Travelers will equate “rural and outdoors” with good health, and “crowds and public spaces” with higher risk.
- Protection against disease will become an expectation in the same manner that protection from terrorism has been built into the travel system.
Finding the Path to Fix Airline Retail
It’s hard to believe we are nearing the 24th anniversary of airline websites – Alaska Airlines sold the first air travel ticket online in December 1995. Fast forward to today, airline websites still promote two core functions: transactions and information retrieval. At present, airline websites are little more than cash registers surrounded by shelves of merchandise. This report encourages airlines to move from a transaction focus to become robust retailers of travel.
A podcast of this report has been recorded, and is available at Spotify and Google Podcasts. Click this link to listen on Spotify.