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Week started badly for business and gets no better, especially in aviation and hospitality
Adrian Leopard 592

Week started badly for business and gets no better, especially in aviation and hospitality

Of course airlines may be closed down again if virus continues to spread at current rate

Today is the day that Ryanair has started its 1000 flights a day. That plan suffered a minor blow when Greece said not yet please but nevertheless Mr O’Leary claims that their flights to other destinations are 70% full. By clicking on this link you can see what flights are in the air and the Ryanair flights have RYR at the beginning of the ID.


Your best bet is to look at aircraft around Stansted.


However this appears to be the extent of the good news in aviation at the moment because easyJet has announced that it is expecting to close its hubs in Southend, Stansted and Newcastle. Alongside this 727 pilots and 1300 crew members are expected to be made redundant. This will not be good news for the respective airports either.


This news is massive and must be indicative of the overall view of the pandemic on aviation and overseas travel. Indeed the view seems to be that international travel is going to be severely depressed for several years, as has already previously been surmised.


Further news today comes from Airbus who expect to make 15000 employees redundant, including 1700 in the UK. The remaining losses will be in France, Spain and Germany. It is less than a month ago that we learned that Emirates announced that it was intending to make 400 Airbus captains redundant and more recently Jet2 announced it would be dismissing 48 Airbus pilots.


Pandemonium is probably a good word to describe the aviation industry at the moment and there is bad news emerging all the time now.


The evident reduction in flying and reduction in international travel is bitter sweet. For the British, it suggests that appetite for foreign holidays is right down at the moment. We shall watch Ryanair’s efforts to counter that view with interest. However a reduction in foreign holidays means that there is great potential for staycation holidays instead and there is no doubt that Britain has some delightful holiday areas. On the other side of the coin, it remains to be seen what foreign travellers still want to come to Britain. At the moment, very few and with coronavirus actually accelerating in other parts of the world, it may well be that quarantine restrictions are going to remain in force for a very long time.


The travel restrictions will of course impact on the hotel and hospitality sector which relies to a huge extent on foreign visitors, the more so the closer you get to London. Staycation will to some extent balance out a reduction in foreign tourism but only to a degree.


The job cuts do not stop with aviation; SSP has announced that it expects only one fifth of its Upper Crust outlets to re-open by the autumn, involving 5000 job cuts, and last week we learned of troubles at Pret a Manger. Whether these companies are merely suffering the effects of people working from home or whether this is now going to represent the “new normal” is as yet uncertain.


There is clearly a new underlying issue which is the re-imposition of lockdown measures in different places, not least the USA where the lack of control of the pandemic is beginning to cause real concerns. Our trusty Johns Hopkins University table puts US cases at over 2.7 million yesterday with 130000 deaths and new cases romping on at over 40000 a day. Brazil at 1.4 million is also exhibiting enormous growth of cases.


It seems also that along with the Leicester lockdown, there are other towns in line as well. One of the common factors for these places appears to be that the populations are largely made up of BAME communities. Coupling this with a recent report that half of Britain’s new cases at one point were coming from Pakistan, with people who held British passports, it seems perhaps that the common factor has now been discovered, but no one likes to say so. Surely the time for pretence has passed now – we need to call it as we see it while we are still alive. Until people start to respect the government instructions, we shall continue to find ourselves at risk of the “second coming”.


Adrian Leopard 01-07-20


Photo Frederick Tubiermont

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