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COVID-19

Dubai Airports’ CEO warns airfare may jump 3-4 times due to social distancing

In an interview with CNN’s John Defterios, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths warned that airfares might have to increase by three or four times if social distancing rules are implemented on aeroplanes. He asserted this won’t be a sustainable position, and a longer-term solution that doesn’t involve social distancing will be needed. Griffiths discussed the challenges of testing for coronavirus in airports, with hope for faster methods being developed. If each passengers needs to wait ten minutes before the result is there, again that’s a further limit on the airport’s capacity.

One idea being suggested to restart the tourism industry is for reciprocal transport bubbles or corridors to be established between countries. Griffiths suggested that countries who locked down quickly may be in a better position to form these agreements. Governments that have taken early action, such as the UAE government, and have got the virus under control, will be in a very good position to negotiate bilateral relationships with other countries that are in a similar position.

In terms of its impact on the industry, Griffiths believes coronavirus is unparalleled, “We have got every single aspect of the supply chain, demand, public health, and it being a global phenomenon. This is unprecedented in terms of the impact it’s had on travel and tourism and the global economy.”

Key quotes

Griffiths on reducing the capacity of aeroplanes:
It’s not going to be economically sustainable for many to operate with that sort of capacity restriction.

Griffiths on how social distancing will affect prices:
If an airline leaves the ground with thirty people on it, and a capacity of two hundred, then you’ve still got the same level of fuel burn, you’ve still got the staff costs, and everything’s the same. And at the end of the day, if you then have to put that into ticket prices, people will be paying three or four times the current ticket prices. I do not think that’s going to be a sustainable position, which is why we need a longer-term solution that doesn’t involve social distancing.

Griffiths on testing in airports:
If each of those passengers needs to wait ten minutes before the result is there, again that’s a further limit on our capacity. I think there are techniques being developed that will take that pre-flight testing to a much, much quicker result.

Griffiths on the unparalleled nature of the crisis:
We have got every single aspect of the supply chain, demand, public health, and it being a global phenomenon. This is unprecedented in terms of the impact it’s had on travel and tourism and the global economy.

Griffiths on travel agreements:
Governments that have taken early action, such as the UAE government, and have got the virus under control, will be in a very good position to negotiate bilateral relationships with other countries that are in a similar position.

Griffiths on future travel demand:
We expect to be back to hopefully delivering 90 to a 100 million passengers in terms of capacity, we just hope that the demand will actually follow and enable us to operate at that level at some stage in the future.

Source: CNN

Source : https://www.biznesstransform.com/dubai-airports-ceo-warns-airfare-may-jump-3-4-times-due-to-social-distancing/

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