It is apparent that the travel industry has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the future continues to look grim for DUBAI, United Arab Emirates. Many airline executives have gone as far as to express their worry, particularly upon a potential second wave of the virus.
“The worst is not behind any airline, not only Qatar Airways,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker told CNBC’s Dan Murphy via video call on Thursday.
“There will soon be other bailouts in Europe, there will be other collapses around the world. Because of the second wave, I think it is … even more severe than in the first wave.”
With 43 commercial airlines having closed due to the non existent demand, air travel is experiencing one of the biggest hits in history. About 485 aircrafts are at a stand-still according to travel data company Cirium, a shocking twist to the last 10 years of consistent travel demand.
As the situation progresses, many experts including Al Baker, foresee more airline closures. Additionally, thanks to capacity reduction, the CEO anticipates more monopolies within particular carriers.
“I think that there will be more reduction in capacity, which in a way is also not good for the traveling public because then it will give a monopolistic situation to certain airlines that exactly wanted this to happen,” he said.
Qatar Airways, a small carrier, has revealed a record loss of USD1.9 Billion for the 2019-2020 financial year as a result of the pandemic and the blockade by a party of Gulf Arab states led by Saudi Arabia.
“I need to tell you that our losses will continue because every single airline in the world will continue to lose money because there are no more passengers to carry,” he said, adding: “Or there are big numbers of passengers to carry like we are actually carrying, but the traffic is one way because most of the countries have kept their airports closed.”