2020 has probably been the toughest year ever for the global airline industry, as the pandemic forced governments to declare lockdowns and reduce mobility to prevent the spreading of the covid-19 virus. Airlines lost $84.3 billion in 2020 for a net profit margin of -20.1% while revenues will fell 50% to $419 billion from $838 billion in 2019. What does the future look like for the industry?
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I believe that once this emergency situation due to COVID-19 will be over, the airline industry will have to face a change in the market for business flights. During the pandemic companies have experienced with alternative ways of communication for their employees and clients, given the impossibility of actually meeting each other or going to the workplace. It has given them the opportunity to validate the various ways to meet digitally, and, to a certain extent, business meetings in the future will be directed accordingly since it means a very large cut of costs for companies.
Therefore, in the future airlines could focus on attracting companies through subscriptions, carnets, bonus flights or offering flight tickets as wage benefits for employees. Certainly they are going to need alternative marketing strategies.
In my opinion, which isn’t strictly financial, this sudden and important loss in the airlines industry is due to a sanitary problem that hopefully will have an end ( crossing fingers that it will be as soon as possible). In order of that the industry will probably be in need of some financial help but will stand up on its feet again. The point here for the airlines which manage to stay strong and don’t fail, is to be creative. To have a strong marketing program and do anything it takes to restart this important industry that is needed by the world.