- The aviation consultant CAPA warned that “most” of the world’s airlines could be bankrupt by the end of May, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
- Although President Donald Trump signed a $58 billion bailout for the airline industry into law on Friday, it’s possible that it won’t be enough — while other airlines around the world remain in jeopardy, particularly as credit markets seize up.
- Several airlines have already collapsed due to COVID-19 outbreak, including in the US and UK.
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Air travel has been one of the hardest-hit industries in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Almost as soon as news of the virus became widespread in late-January, travel demand to Asia from the rest of the world plummeted. Even before the containment was adopted across the globe, airlines began to drastically cut flights to China, and other locations in Asia as coronavirus-related anxieties led passengers to avoid travel to the region.
Within weeks, however, it became apparent that flights to Asia were not the only routes to see lower demand.
As the virus spread to Europe, followed by the Americas and Africa, passenger demand plummeted across the board. People were second-guessing trips anywhere away from home, and were trying to avoid anything involving air travel, given the inherent close proximity to other people, some of whom could be carrying the virus.
Notably, people were also delaying buying tickets for future travel, due to the uncertainty surrounding the outbreak.
The scale of the carnage for airlines became apparent when British regional airline Flybe ran out of cash and entered administration the first week of March.
While Flybe had ongoing financial difficulties and was already on the brink, the coronavirus situation, and the associated decrease in bookings, served as the