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Easing of restrictions makes for more flights
Adrian Leopard 499

Easing of restrictions makes for more flights

Loads of people still wanting to go abroad for holidays; they may get their chance yet

As July reaches its end, the August holiday season starts this weekend.


British Airways owner IAG is taking advantage of the easing of restrictions to increase its number of flights. With the easing of restrictions for incoming passengers from the EU and US due on Monday, this is basically good news for the airline industry and it has to be said that it needs some. IAG has made losses of £1.7 billion in the six months to the end of June and figures of this size are really quite hard to imagine in the minds of Jo-Public! How deep are their pockets?


Anyway IAG, which owns airlines other than just BA, reckons it will be operating at 45% capacity between now and September perhaps rising to 75% by the end of 2021. 45% is not great and it is quite a quantum leap to hope that it will go as high as 75% by the end of the year when the present situation in terms of spread of disease and news cases is so very volatile. What will happen if there is another lockdown which is predicted by some?


There is no doubt that flying around the world is still a somewhat hazardous exercise and certainly expensive. Putting aside that fact that airline tickets are costing more, you have the cost of those covid tests to add on and they don’t come cheap.


Wouldn’t it make a wonderful difference if a form of covid test could be designed rather like a breathalyser test – “please blow into this machine, Sir” and your result comes up with a few seconds, or even a minute or so. That really would revolutionise our lives. Sadly there is not even a mention of such a possibility so certainly not something we can factor forward.


Easyjet and Ryanair are hoping for something like a 60% capacity this year whilst IAG reckons it will be 2023 before aviation gets back to pre-pandemic levels. One wonders whether even that will happen given the current uncertainty and with that uncertainty is coming change in people’s habits on travelling which may also have a significant effect.


But there is enough bad news around for us to make the most of the good news that in the short term at least the travel market is beginning to open up and this will assist the economy generally start to move back towards normal. But there is a caveat – travel restrictions could be imposed at any time. They may include quarantine or a change on the traffic light list so whatever you decide to do, for goodness sake do it in the knowledge that you may have to face changes which will be very inconvenient. Make no assumptions!


Adrian Leopard 30-07-21


Photo Isaac Struna

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