COVID19-Dealing with challenges & uncertain Times
It was in the year 2000 when the IT industry stepped into India that was also the indication of air travel to soar exponentially. These were the days when even domestic air tickets weren’t affordable and global aviation to take off was a dream
Rural People migrated to urban cities for education and job opportunities, the global middle class had expanded. This shift was most dramatic in India and China, where urbanization—spurring the development of high-rise dwellings—middle-class spending, and air travel were all skyrocketing in the coming days
Sometime in the year between 2005-2015, Air Deccan with few other reputed airlines introduced cheaper airfare schemes which made flying more accessible. Travel soon became a mandatory social norm for business officials to attract recognition, especially in Asia. Since these carriers were mostly Low-Cost Carriers (LCCs) as opposed to Full-Service Carriers (FSCs), there was a remarkable dip in quality, service and overall flying experience
There is a very large Indian population which drives a lot of business travel, it also brings a lot of tourism and family travel and you need all of those elements to make a flight operate. The rush was unmanageable owing to airport expansion and manufacturing of more aircraft in the process
The COVID-19 has reduced the air traffic and the mad rush globally.It’ necessary to look at consolidating the airline industry at this point. It’s definitely a pause mode for business travel especially internationally and leisure travelers will look at choosing destinations with a direct flight option
In response to the growing demand from both business and leisure perspective, we have to travel responsibly differently keeping the global change in mind
Will MICE take time to restart?
Yes MICE will take time to start as most of the Corporates Contribution towards MICE will be slow so the priorities will change - Instead of gifting Incentive Travel Vouchers to employees/agents/dealers they may offer cash component or some other means - as people will have fear to travel for some more time, similarly Conventions and Exhibitions will take some more time due to The social distance being in place and another Security threat is sanitation. Just for meetings Corporates may not travel meetings will continue online using digital platforms
What about leisure travel and business travel?
Leisure will pick up within India first as overseas will take more time due to each countries own rules and regulations as most of the country’s borders are closed. Bilateral will be revised to each country norms - Schengen may introduce vaccine similar to Africa where we are asked to take the yellow fever vaccine once the vaccine is invented this may come in place to increase travelers immune system
Most expos are also looking at the online route?
Expos may not be 100% successful (or) lucrative compared to offline - will come back to its original shape and time will tell us when
Where do they see travel agents reorganize their roles and stay in business?
Small-time players may vanish - only skilled agents and specialized service offering companies will have their piece of cake - travel agents can unlearn and start re-learning of new changing trends and be ready to adopt and adhere to the current digital world or can think on alternative business ideas
What was the air travel trend last 20 years to 2020 now? How air travel will be affected going forward?
The year 2020 will bring some major changes - every common man may not fly as the fares may go up and if social distancing comes into effect in airplanes they have to fly with 40% or 5% seat capacity, fares will jump as they also need to look at the net yield earned
My views on Business Air travel vs. Leisure Air Travel?
Leisure will pick up more when compared with the Business air Travel - India being so vast the Ministry of Tourism may encourage more LTA’s with tax-free holidays encouraging Indian Destinations.