Restoring pre-Covid air routes is likely to be a serious challenge for destinations as struggling airlines try to regain altitude
Destinations are set to face fierce competition to restore airline routes suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic with fewer aircraft in the sky over the next few years, as global passenger demand takes longer to recover than previously hoped.
Tourist offices and governments may have to offer a range of incentives and change the way they work with airlines to be successful in regaining routes or even securing new ones.
This is the main message of the Route to Recovery – A Perspective for Destinations white paper, published by route development specialist ASM, looking at how destinations can “rebuild” their airline services.
Tourism authorities will have to work harder and compete more intensely with other destinations to restore pre-Covid routes, with airline capacity not forecast to return to 2019 levels until 2024, according to airline association Iata.
This recovery could “slip further if we have setbacks in containing the virus or finding a vaccine”, warns Iata chief executive Alexandre de Juniac.
The association also expects “more short-haul flying in the recovery phase”.