WTM Global Hub – WTM Portfolio’s new online portal – will host a webinar on Thursday, May 14, at 2 pm BST with respected UK aviation expert John Strickland, Director of JLS Consulting. Called Airlines in Crisis – What is the Prognosis for the Aftermath of COVID-19?, the online event will explore the devastating impact of COVID-19 on airlines and airports across the globe – and what the future may hold for the sector.
As the pandemic spread worldwide from February onwards, lockdowns and travel bans have meant the aviation sector is facing crippling financial losses and widespread job cuts.
With fleets grounded, British Airways looks set to lose about 12,000 jobs, while Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair have both announced more than 3,000 job cuts each. Virgin has also withdrawn from Gatwick.
IAG Group – which owns BA, Aer Lingus and Iberia – hopes to operate flights from July at the earliest if lockdown measures are relaxed. But it does not expect passenger demand to recover before 2023.
With more than 37 years of experience in the air transport industry, Strickland advises airports, airlines, and other industry partners, and regularly appears on TV and in newspapers to comment on the market.
During the webinar, he will scrutinize the response of the aviation sector so far and analyse the flight path to recovery.
Without billions in state support, it is feared some airlines could collapse and those carriers that do survive will be significantly smaller, with dramatic changes to networks and business models for “the new normal.”
Attendees will also be able to ask questions during the webinar about issues that affect their businesses and customers.
Claude Blanc, WTM Portfolio Director, said: “John is much respected in the travel industry for his expert insights and he has moderated many aviation debates at WTM events over the years.
“Our webinar will offer attendees an unrivalled opportunity to hear his well-informed observations about the future shape of the aviation industry and to ask questions about possible ways forward.
“There are so many challenging issues affecting air travel: why are passengers struggling to get refunds for cancelled flights; how will travellers pass through airports; will we need masks and empty middle seats on planes; and what about quarantine and lockdown restrictions in holiday destinations?
“All these and more are very difficult hurdles for aviation to overcome, so John’s knowledge and advice will be essential for industry professionals seeking a way out of this crisis.
“Our previous three webinars have proved to be very popular, attracting thousands of travel trade attendees from a range of sectors, who have been watching from all parts of the world.”
“Airlines in Crisis – What is the Prognosis for the Aftermath of COVID-19?” starts at 2 pm BST on May 14 and will be the fourth webinar on the resource platform.
Previous webinars have been held by Oxford Economics; travel journalist Simon Calder; and Nick Hall of the Digital Tourism Think Tank with Jeremy Jauncey – the founder and Chief Executive of travel website Beautiful Destinations.
Launched on April 23, WTM Global Hub aims to support travel industry professionals around the world.
WTM Portfolio – the parent brand for WTM London, WTM Latin America, Arabian Travel Market, WTM Africa, Travel Forward and other key travel trade events – is tapping into its global network of experts to create exceptional content for the hub.
Part of the Global Hub content will be provided in Spanish and Portuguese by WTM Latin America, which will also be adding Latin American webinars.
Along with interactive webinars, other content from industry experts includes podcasts; a library of videos; blogs; responsible tourism and travel technology news; and “Your Travel Community,” featuring positive updates from travel professionals about how they are supporting the industry and others.
WTM Global Hub can be found at http://hub.wtm.com/ .
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