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Forecasting the future

In what’s been one of the worst seasons yet for tropical storms, it is timely for Routes News to focus on their impact on airports.

The northern Caribbean and Florida were hard hit by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which each barrelled through the region one after another in August, September and October. Even now many of the islands are still dealing with the destruction, and ensuing disruption, from the storms.

However, airports in the region have been outperforming much of the other local infrastructure in getting up and running, reopening vital international travel links in the process. Much of this is down to the fact that while these hurricanes, which strike with limited warning, are immensely destructive, the businesses have become adept at planning for and implementing measures that both limit the destruction and help the recovery.

And this is a lesson that stretches across the whole of the route-development industry, which is regularly afflicted by all manner of storms and not just those of the meteorological type. Our feature reveals the sad demise of Monarch and the ensuing row over its Gatwick slots after it failed to deal with financial headwinds.

However, on the other side reports on Delta Air Lines, Philippine Airlines and bmi regional show that all of them have ambitious plans for future growth, whether or not there are clouds on the horizon.

Nor are they the only airlines expanding. ASM’s review of recent new routes shows the appetite for growth is still there while the first South American hosts of a Routes Americas in Quito are confident about the future.

Which takes us back to airports in the Caribbean and their efficiency in dealing with something as devastating as a tropical hurricane. There will always be known unknowns in our industry, but with the correct planning, proper recovery work and an optimistic mindset, the negative effects can be severely limited.


Edward Robertson

editor, Routes News


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