After an encouraging first two decades of the 21st Century that had provided a fertile environment to support the growth of air travel, nobody was prepared for the rollercoaster ride that the initial years of the 2020s have offered. It was the proverbial calm before the storm. But this was not like any storm encountered previously. As the coronavirus crisis evolved from a small news story into a global pandemic, air travel came to a near standstill. The calm climb of the previous decades came to an immediate stop and an industry collapsed into freefall. This was a vertical drop. And it didn’t stop, wiping years of growth in a matter of days.
It suddenly became all about survival. Costs were quickly jettisoned as businesses restructured in preparation for recovery. That path has become complicated by a mutating virus and cautious governments, but an increasingly vaccinated population and strong pent-up demand is already delivering pockets of growth in many geographic markets.
As sentiment to travel rises, the industry is growing again.Global domestic air capacity is already nearing prepandemic levels and international air travel is following behind as travel restrictions have been slowly lifted. But just as some confidence is starting to return, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the rising cost of fuel are just two of the key factors that will impact a recovery path that will also be influenced by technological developments and sustainability considerations.
The CAPA Airline Leader Summit series makes an exciting return to in person events in 2022 with the ‘Airlines in Transition’ event held on 7-8 April and hosted by MAG in Manchester. Airlines in Transition will bring together thought leaders from aviation and the wider travel industry, including airline executives, key suppliers, technology partners and regulators.
The focus for the summit is the aviation megatrends which have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic. Global airline leaders will share their insights and perspectives on the changes brought about in the aviation sector over the past two years. They will also share their expectations about the shape of the recovery and thinking on how the pandemic has changed the broader trajectory for aviation and the travel sector.