COVID-19 is the first domino to fall, and it will continue to do so, causing every component to fall and almost everything that happens in the business.
“Will it get better? The answer is yes. When? That is a tougher question,” Bryan Del Monte, President of the Minnesota-based consultancy The Aviation Agency. “There are a couple of things acting as governors to everyone being able to return to travel, and the first one is the pandemic itself.”
Here is a glimpse at what may happen in 2022.
- Things Will Get Tighter On Planes:
Don’t expect the middle seat to be empty when you travel this year. It most likely will not be.
- The Mask’s Mandate May Not Change Soon:
The federal mask mandate on travel, which is now over two years old, will most certainly remain until 2022 — even though it was the source of the bulk of the roughly 6,000 verbal and physical allegations of passenger abuse of flight staff last year.
- New Low-Cost Carriers Likely to Emerge:
Low-cost airlines managed to survive the epidemic. We may anticipate more low cost airlines to emerge in 2022 and beyond.
According to Travel Weekly, Norse Atlantic Airways will begin operations in earnest in 2022, offering inexpensive flights between the United States and Europe. Northern Pacific Airways intends to begin this year as well, using Ted Stevens Airport in Anchorage, Alaska, as a unique hub to connect the United States and Asia.
- Airfares Have Dropped And May Continue To Fall:
Julie Kyse, Vice President of Global Air Partnerships for Expedia Group, said in a guest essay that “she expects another growth in passenger numbers and a fall in prices”.
- However, You May Not Get What You Pay For:
According to Kyse, the average cost of a premium aircraft ticket in 2021 will be 288% more than an economy ticket. While this still appears to be a significant amount, it is less than it was in 2020 (365%) and 2019. (430%).
- Labor Shortages In Critical Roles Will Persist:
To put it mildly, the Omicron variant has wreaked sort of a havoc on the business. Delays and cancellations, caused primarily by understaffed airlines, began on December 23, 2021, and are just now beginning to subside. However, worker shortages in crucial positions will persist in 2022.
“You can’t make a pilot, flight attendant, or maintenance worker just appear overnight,” Del Monte said. “COVID has depleted and exacerbated the shortage with pilots and mechanics”.