Aviation

Three things to expect when people are flying again, according to Alan Joyce

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has been lying low amid the kerfuffle over rival Virgin Australia’s future.

However, the aviation maestro from Ireland recently took to LinkedIn to share his thoughts on what Australia’s travel sector will look like by the time people start flying again.

“Life will be different as we come out of this crisis. Recovering from the economic impacts will take time for most companies and individuals,” he wrote.

“But if this period of isolation has taught us nothing else, it’s how much we value seeing people and places. And that’s why aviation will remain so important.

“A recent survey of our frequent flyers showed around 85 per cent are keen to travel again once they’re able to. I know our people can’t wait to welcome them back on board when the time is right.”

Joyce said that while there’s a lot we don’t know, particularly around timing, he outlined three things “I think we can be pretty certain of”.

Here they are, in his own words:

1. It will be competitive

The Australian domestic market has huge potential. And for that reason, this is never going to be a one airline town – or it wouldn’t be one for long. Stiff competition has made Qantas better over the years and we don’t want that to stop now. And, frankly, the regulatory pressures on entrenched monopolies tend to make them unattractive.

2. There will be lots of low fares

Airlines will be keen to stimulate travel demand to get their people and aircraft back to work and restart their cashflow pipelines, repairing the damage done by the devastating and sudden drop in revenue. That’s good news for consumers because it means plenty of good deals.

3. Domestic travel will start well before international

Australia has done a remarkable job of flattening the curve and cutting coronavirus infection rates. We have to be careful not to take the brakes off too early, but restrictions on domestic travel are likely to lift well before international travel. That’s great news for our local tourism industry, with more people holidaying in Australia to start with.

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