Air tickets prices could rise up to 54% depending on the region if social-distancing measures in the aviation sector are to be introduced warns the International Air Transport Association.
According to International Air Transport Association Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac , when people return to travelling by air, airlines support a temporarily biosecurity layered approach of passengers wearing face masks as well a masks while on board. Despite accepting the wearing of masks the airlines do not support the social distancing measures that will leave the middle seats empty.
“Airlines are fighting for their survival. Eliminating the middle seat will raise costs. If that can be offset with higher fares, the era of affordable travel will come to an end. On the other hand, if airlines can’t recoup the costs in higher fares, airlines will go bust. Neither is a good option when the world will need strong connectivity to help kick-start the recovery from COVID-19’s economic devastation.” he said.
This comes after the European Commission’s recent announcement of the new set of rules it will be realising this month that will require airlines to exercise social distancing in airports and onboard the aircrafts.
Once travels resumes, the international airlines lobby sees a scenario where airlines will be caught between low demand, excess capacity and low fuel prices said IATA in its airfares analysis.
According to Brian Pearce, IATA‘s chief economist, many airlines will fold if they don’t increase ticket prices.
“The safety of passengers and crew is paramount. The aviation industry is working with governments to re-start flying when this can be done safely. Evidence suggests that the risk of transmission on board aircraft is low,’ he said.
“And we will take measures—such as the wearing of face coverings by passengers and masks by crew—to add extra layers of protection. We must arrive at a solution that gives passengers the confidence to fly and keeps the cost of flying affordable. One without the other will have no lasting benefit.”
He further added that other measures that airlines will undertake include temperature screening of airport workers, passengers and travelers, limiting movement within the cabin during flight and frequent and deeper cabin cleaning.