Login Now to remove this and all advertisements (GOLD and SILVER members)
Not a member? Register Now for free

Predictions of when international flights may resume/bans lifted

MEL_Traveller

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
21,626
I keep hearing about more and more hurdles in the way of airline restarts.
For Aussie airlines? Seems international ones are up and flying. Could be rich pickings on the international market for foreign airlines to/from AU if VA/QF don't keep their skin in the game.
 

jakeseven7

Established Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
3,863
For the NZ international border....from ABC Covid live blog

Hotspot definition at centre of trans-Tasman travel bubble delay

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the next step towards resuming trans-Tasman travel rests with Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been unable to get agreement from all of the states and territories on a uniform definition of a hotspot.

Mr Morrison is hoping rapid containment of COVID-19 hotspots will be sufficient to ease both interstate and international borders.

Ms Ardern has told Channel 9 New Zealand is waiting on that before proceeding with trans-Tasman travel.
Sorry Australia! Love from Queensland.... (who would label NZ as a hotspot by our rules that no one else agrees with)
 

Seat0B

Active Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
561
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
I keep hearing about more and more hurdles in the way of airline restarts. Whilst many would, in the normal course of events, be simple to resolve, the numbers involved this time make it much more difficult.

We already knew that pilots’ licences were expiring, and with that could come an entire raft of things to be done to get the licence back. CASA is slow at the best of times, so given the backlog, I’d hate to guess how long it could take to get that piece of paper again. Medicals fall into the same category.

ID cards. They normally take two months, if you are lucky, just to renew one in the normal course of events. None are being renewed at the moment, and people are actually being asked to return them. Once we get to the end of the year, probably about half of all airline and airport staff will need them to be renewed. Again I would hate to guess how long this will take.

Back when AJ and others were hoping for a July 2020 gradual restart, there would have been few issues, and it could have happened over a couple of weeks. By January 21, the time line will be in increments of 6 months. I don’t know at what point it becomes impossible, but that would be in there somewhere.
This is a very interesting long article about the impediments, and covers many of the points that you raise.

TLDR:
  • previous impacts on airlines have been either health but not economic (eg SARS) or economic but not health (eg GFC). COVID is a double whammy and not something that has really been experienced by aviation industry before
  • by April 2020, about 65% of the global fleet of aircraft had been placed into short or long term storage
  • in March 2020, IATA's most pessimistic forecast of global aviation revenue losses was $113 bn. By June 2020, IATA had revised this to revenue losses of $419 bn
  • IATA predicts passenger numbers will return to pre-COVID levels by 2023, but some industry insiders are saying more like 2024 or even 2025
  • 95% drop in passenger numbers in second quarter 2020 (not clear if this is just for KLM or across the board)
  • predicting death of the hub and spoke model in favour of direct routes flown by smaller aircraft
  • explanation of the activities taken in short term storage to keep aircraft capable of being returned to service
  • maintaining pilot currency is not easy
  • reduction in flying is good for reducing carbon emissions (well d'oh)
  • companies are re-thinking the need for business travel (well d'oh), which will see a reduction in the most profitable passengers, and this will have further consequences for airlines
  • Some airlines will go out of business and some will be consolidated with others
Final take away message "Flying will feel both more austere, in these aseptic and functional flights, and more luxurious, since there will be less of it."
 

dajop

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 1, 2002
Messages
11,372
Flights
My Map
  • predicting death of the hub and spoke model in favour of direct routes flown by smaller aircraft
This comes up every once in a while. I guess it is a very US-centric view where the airlines modus operandi is flying domestically via hubs. But internationally hubs will always be important. You're never, ever, going to have flights from Adelaide to Ahmedabad, Melbourne to Memphis, Sydney to San Antonio, Perth to Prague, Brisbane to Boston or Hobart to .... well ... almost anywhere. There will always be a need for hubs in some shape or form. To suggest the "death" of the hub and spoke model is just ridiculous (at least as far as international flying goes). Maybe less superhubs, and more local or short haul hubs, so whereas now you might take 2 medium haul flights through a hub, you instead have to go through two local hubs - two short flights + one long haul. Even within the US, there's a limits to transcontinental city pairs, that will necessitate hubs (or a lot more driving).

That aside, I would have thought that reduction in overall demand for air travel would actually favour hub and spoke model more than point to point.
 

Seat0B

Active Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
561
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
This comes up every once in a while. I guess it is a very US-centric view where the airlines modus operandi is flying domestically via hubs. But internationally hubs will always be important. You're never, ever, going to have flights from Adelaide to Ahmedabad, Melbourne to Memphis, Sydney to San Antonio, Perth to Prague, Brisbane to Boston or Hobart to .... well ... almost anywhere. There will always be a need for hubs in some shape or form. To suggest the "death" of the hub and spoke model is just ridiculous (at least as far as international flying goes). Maybe less superhubs, and more local or short haul hubs, so whereas now you might take 2 medium haul flights through a hub, you instead have to go through two local hubs - two short flights + one long haul. Even within the US, there's a limits to transcontinental city pairs, that will necessitate hubs (or a lot more driving).

That aside, I would have thought that reduction in overall demand for air travel would actually favour hub and spoke model more than point to point.
Loving your alliteration there @dajop!
 

Flashback

Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 29, 2006
Messages
10,612
Flights
My Map
There is a lot of blind faith in a vaccine coming quickly and more importantly effectively. This is being fed by countries that have completely failed to contain the virus in any way like the UK and US.

Because they literally have no other option now. Some believe it’s just puffy PR to keep their populations under control.

It is highly highly likely that the first tranche of vaccines will be no where near the 90% level of effectiveness required to make a serious dent in this virus.

I’m hoping for the same as everyone else but will would quite literally be a miracle for it to come quickly and effectively which means we really have to learn to live with this virus, even when a vaccine becomes available and before it does as well.
Where is that said for the UK other than international media who is sensationalist? Living in the UK I've heard close to nothing on the ground regarding relying on there being a vaccine. If you're hearing that in Aus, it doesn't reflect the reality on the ground here.
 

hb13

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
177
Qantas
Gold
Living in London (as I do too), you've had a good stab at it for the last few months at least. Things are slowly starting to lock down now, there's 1 day left in the BA sale and flights are dirt cheap right now anyway so book something to Italy next week and you're laughing assuming self isolating on return isn't an issue!
Haha - I have booked flights to Rome next week! But apparently the Italian government is looking at restrictions next week - I have heard this from a friend based in Rome :(
 

MEL_Traveller

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
21,626
  • IATA predicts passenger numbers will return to pre-COVID levels by 2023, but some industry insiders are saying more like 2024 or even 2025
What they say might be true - time will tell. But worth remembering that IATA is an industry association, representing its members. They have a vested interest in keeping the numbers low in an environment where their members are looking for government concessions and bailouts.

Compare too with the CEO of Qantas saying there is huge pent up demand for travel.

So which is it?
 

dajop

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 1, 2002
Messages
11,372
Flights
My Map
What they say might be true - time will tell. But worth remembering that IATA is an industry association, representing its members. They have a vested interest in keeping the numbers low in an environment where their members are looking for government concessions and bailouts.

Compare too with the CEO of Qantas saying there is huge pent up demand for travel.

So which is it?
I suspect there is huge pent up demand - for at least leisure travel.

Business travel? Toes in the water first, whilst continuing virtual meetings where possible. Time will tell if we've seen some permanent changes in approaches to doing business or not. Many activities are much better face to face, but for some activities online might be an acceptable compromise in the short term at least.
 

jakeseven7

Established Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
3,863
I suspect there is huge pent up demand - for at least leisure travel.

Business travel? Toes in the water first, whilst continuing virtual meetings where possible. Time will tell if we've seen some permanent changes in approaches to doing business or not. Many activities are much better face to face, but for some activities online might be an acceptable compromise in the short term at least.
We've put physical domestic travel back in our budget from Feb and released money from November as well - but we have been flying people through the pandemic on skeleton operations due to the nature of our work. We are mainly cap city but some regional.

Our insurer has deemed all of Australia (Vic included) extremely low risk now. They are a global insurer ;)
 

Flashback

Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 29, 2006
Messages
10,612
Flights
My Map
Haha - I have booked flights to Rome next week! But apparently the Italian government is looking at restrictions next week - I have heard this from a friend based in Rome :(
Was in one of their local paywalled newspapers a few days ago.

A similar article was written 1 and 2 months ago too...
 
The Qantas Premier Platinum Card delivers up to 100k Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits, complimentary lounge invitations and travel insurance. All this with a reduced first-year annual fee of $199.

Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer

MEL_Traveller

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
21,626
I suspect there is huge pent up demand - for at least leisure travel.

Business travel? Toes in the water first, whilst continuing virtual meetings where possible. Time will tell if we've seen some permanent changes in approaches to doing business or not. Many activities are much better face to face, but for some activities online might be an acceptable compromise in the short term at least.
Very easy for airlines to generate premium-cabin traffic ex Australia - lower their prices and get rid of the silly 'Australia tax'. Major airlines like SQ and QR offer AUD3500 return fares in business class from Europe to Australia, yet we are asked to pay double in the other direction. (Second tier airlines are offering business class return for AUD2300.)
 

dajop

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 1, 2002
Messages
11,372
Flights
My Map
We've put physical domestic travel back in our budget from Feb and released money from November as well - but we have been flying people through the pandemic on skeleton operations due to the nature of our work. We are mainly cap city but some regional.

Our insurer has deemed all of Australia (Vic included) extremely low risk now. They are a global insurer ;)

That backs up QF's claims about pent up demand. But one airline does not maketh a global industry, so IATA might be on the money suggesting decreased demand for the industy globally. I'm sure international travel - paticularly business travel - will take quite some time to recover.
 

MEL_Traveller

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
21,626
That backs up QF's claims about pent up demand. But one airline does not maketh a global industry...
That's right. Some major airlines are reporting they expect to be at 50% pre-covid by mid 2021. QF... *crickets chirping*. They're not even planning to be back in any substantive way by then.

The airlines are adept at playing the government game. The passengers are the big losers in terms of refunds, consumer rights, certainty of future bookings, etc.
 

Community Statistics

Threads
86,456
Messages
2,091,323
Members
53,812
Latest member
somenameforthissite
Top