- Passenger traffic was showing some signs of life towards the end of 2020 albeit single digit, but at least it was in the right direction.
- January 2021 saw the numbers race backwards, even lower than what it was in 2020.
- For aviation, the silver lining is cargo which is doing extremely well because of the rising demand for speedier delivery of merchandise and vaccines.
Peter Harbison kicks off the discussion asking what developments have happened in Asia aviation in terms of airline survival, government support, even new entry that really is of interest to us as we move along in this hopefully soon-to-be post-COVID world.
Read on – or sit back and listen to – this CAPA – Centre for Aviation event with these travel and tourism experts.
Yeah. Well, the passenger traffic was showing some signs of life towards the end of 2020, November, the month-on-month growth, single digit, but at least it was in the right direction. Also, there was a lot of optimism because of the discovery of vaccines and the start of rollout of vaccines. Everything came to an abrupt at the end of 2020 and ’21 didn’t start well. January we saw the numbers race backwards, even lower than what it was in 2020.
The forward sales are all looking pretty grim. The silver lining is cargo. Cargo is doing extremely well because of the rising demand for speedier delivery of merchandise and also vaccine, distribution of vaccine is also helping cargo. Today, Singapore Airlines just announced that their losses were reduced because of cargo revenue. There is a good sign, but of course when passenger numbers are down, capacity is down, there’s also very little valuable capacity for cargo.
It is not very sustainable just to rely on cargo. Governments are actually spooked by the surge in virus cases in Europe and America as well as the mutation of the virus. Understandably they have become more stringent with their border controls. Almost every country in Asia has actually introduced huge restrictions on travel, even banning people from coming in from specific countries, if they are from UK for instance or South Africa. That’s not doing very well. I guess they are all scratching their heads, even Victoria doesn’t allow people from New South Wales to come in. What are we doing allowing Sydney-siders to come into Singapore? There you have it. The Singapore Hong Kong bubble was going to be a big.