(ReliableNews.org) – The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the nation’s airline industry. Governmental restrictions coupled with international travel bans nearly brought United States carriers to their knees financially. The International Air Transport Association estimated the industry losses globally would reach $118 billion dollars by the end of 2020, with United States companies losing millions of dollars daily.
With the recent rollout of two COVID-19 vaccines, airlines hope to see a recovery in air travel services in the not so distant future. However, things take time. Health experts don’t expect everyone who wants the vaccine to receive their doses until sometime around June 2021.
With a vaccine seemingly on the brink of being cleared for emergency distribution, airlines are hopeful that 2021 could see the beginnings of a recovery for air travel.https://t.co/sY3zmy3RZS
— WTTW (Chicago PBS) (@wttw) December 9, 2020
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly says he doesn’t expect the industry to bounce back overnight. However, he remains optimistic for the future, yet realistic. According to him, life probably won’t return to normal by the end of 2021, at least not for the airlines.
For one thing, he has concerns about people’s willingness to take the vaccine. He also doesn’t think 2021 will see a full return to major events due to limited air travel.
As Kelly concluded, in dark times, it’s always good to plan for worst-case scenarios. Of course, it’s equally important to face forward and hope for the best.
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