Industry Update
External Article23 April 2020

Physical Distancing Will End Era Of Cheap Air Travel, Industry Warns

Physical distancing will end era of cheap air travel, industry warns Iata says airlines will have to raise prices 50% or go bust if Covid-19 rules are enforced

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The days of cheap air travel will be over if airlines are forced to introduce physical distancing measures on planes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry has warned.

Alexandre de Juniac, the director-general of the International Air Transport Association (Iata), said that if governments ordered airlines to adopt physical distancing onboard aircraft, at least a third of seats would remain empty and airlines would have to raise their ticket prices by at least 50% or go bust.

"Either you fly at the same price, selling the ticket at the same average price as before, and you lose enormous amounts of money so it's impossible to fly for any airline, particularly low cost; or you increase ticket prices by at least 50% and you are able to fly with a minimum profit. So it means that if social distancing is imposed, cheap travel is over."

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