Inspiring clear motion for aviation development
In a discussion on Asia-Pacific developments in the travel and aviation sector, Peter Harbison from the Center for Aviation spoke with Subhas Menon, Director General of the Asia Pacific Airlines Association, and Mario Hardy, Head of the Pacific Travel Association (PATA).
- Passenger traffic showed some signs of life towards the end of 2020, albeit in single digits, but at least in the right direction.
- In January 2021, the numbers raced backwards, even lower than in 2020.
- For aviation, the silver lining is a cargo that is doing very well due to the increasing demand for faster delivery of goods and vaccines.
Peter Harbison opens the discussion by asking what developments have happened in Asian aviation in terms of airline survival, government support and even new entries that are really of interest to us when we hopefully get into this soon evolve after COVID.
Read on – or sit back and listen to this CAPA – Center for Aviation event with these travel and tourism experts.
Yes. Well, towards the end of November 2020, passenger traffic showed some signs of life, monthly growth in the single digits, but at least in the right direction. There was also a lot of optimism given the discovery of vaccines and the start of the introduction of vaccines. Everything came to an abrupt halt at the end of 2020 and ’21 didn’t start out well. In January the numbers raced backwards, even lower than in 2020.
The forward sales are all looking pretty bleak. The silver lining is freight. Cargo is doing very well due to the increasing demand for faster delivery of goods and vaccines. The distribution of vaccines also helps the cargo. Singapore Airlines announced today that it has reduced its losses due to cargo revenue. It’s a good sign, but when passenger numbers go down, capacity goes down, there is of course very little valuable capacity for cargo.
Relying on cargo only is not very sustainable. Governments are actually appalled by the increase in virus cases in Europe and America, as well as the mutation of the virus. Understandably, they have become stricter with their border controls. Almost every country in Asia has actually put in place huge travel restrictions that even prohibit entry of people from certain countries, such as those from the UK or South Africa. It’s not going very well. I think they’re all scratching their heads, even Victoria doesn’t allow people from New South Wales to come in. What are we doing so that Sydney-Siders can come to Singapore? There you have it. The bubble in Singapore, Hong Kong, was going to grow big.