It appears many airlines are considering blocking off using middle seats on flights in the near future as they try to figure out ways for social distancing on airplanes. That will be such a joy to not have to be squeezed into a middle seat at least for a few months. How long they continue to block seating in middle seats will be determined by how fast the virus can be neutralized and also how fast travelers return to flying again. One thing is certain. The airlines can’t make money if they block off middle seats as that gets rid of over 33% of their revenue. The only way to maintain this program for the long term would be for a substantial increase in airline ticket prices of about $100 – $200 a ticket. I just don’t see that happening. My guess is that blocking middle seats will last for the rest of 2020 and then the hope is vaccines and other measures will allow the elbow to elbow travel once again.
My bet is that travel to Europe gets opened up again on May 11 –
That will make 60 days since the travel ban to Europe was first put in place. That is good news. The bad news is that it will probably require a 14-day self-quarantine when you return from traveling at least until the end of June. My gut tells me that the skies will open up even more in July and travel with continue to strengthen into the fall months as a lot of spring travel was deferred into the fall. Let’s hope this thing can safely get back to normal soon.
Despite all the bad news for airlines, they have one thing they could do to lock in profitability for the next 3 years –
Airlines all around the world have been crushed by this pandemic which has caused them to remove almost 90% of their flights. The good news for the airlines is that the price of jet fuel has plummeted from almost $2 a gallon a year ago to 45 cents a gallon today. The price of fuel is often the second-highest cost for an airline after labor. If an airline was to lock in a 3-year future contract to purchase jet fuel for the next 3 years they would almost guarantee profitability once the world starts flying again. Southwest Airlines was famous for this year ago as they locked in their jet fuel prices at low levels and when prices rose they had a competitive advantage for many years over the other airlines who did not lock in fuel prices. Unfortunately, many airlines today may not have the cash to purchase jet fuel contracts and may miss out on an amazing time to lock in low prices.
Executive Travel is now back to full staffing and ready to help when you are ready to travel –
On April 15 our team celebrated the end of furloughs and shortened work weeks as our whole team went back to full-time work and staffing. We joyfully were able to re-employ our team as we received the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funding as part of the CARES act passed by Congress and signed by President Trump. This program is a lifeline for our team that allows us to get back on our feet and start building for the future. We are fortunate that we have a business model that allows us to be one of the first companies in the travel industry to return to full employment. Over 25 years ago the company started using virtual agents (work from home). This structure now allows the majority of the team of our team to be protected from the virus by working from home. Executive Travel’s second advantage is that almost 90 percent of the transactions we process are made using the internet.
CLICK HERE to see a video of our re-grand opening and ribbon cutting.
I love how optimistic and smart Americans are –
This morning while I was shaving I got a call from a good friend who said he is ready to start planning to take his whole office on a trip to Italy in 2021. If you turn on the TV you will think the world is coming to an end but many Americans realize there is always a beginning, a middle, and an end to everything and this virus is no different. My friend knows that with American (and the world’s) ingenuity we will figure out how to get this monster virus under control and that life will go on. He also understands the simple theory of supply and demand. Those that start planning early will be able to take advantage of amazing travel deals to try to get the travel flywheel moving again. Places that are hit the hardest, like Italy, will need to make amazing offers to fill hotel rooms and restaurants. The old saying, the early bird gets the worm (amazing prices), will be true for people who start planning to travel again soon. Call our office at 402-435-8888 to speak with one of our friendly travel advisors. We are fully staffed and would be honored to help you find the perfect vacation.