(ReliableNews.org) – The airline industry took one of the biggest hits during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the world slowly starts returning to normal, European airlines continue to report low flight capacity levels compared to the pre-pandemic earnings of 2019. However, low-cost flights appear to be the name of the game when it comes to speeding up customer returns.
Passenger traffic in Europe in July 2021 only reached about 33.5% of the level it maintained for the same period in 2019. Nevertheless, EasyJet, a budget British airline, expects to reach levels equivalent to about 60% of what it saw for a three-month period beginning in July 2019.
European low-cost airlines have clear advantages over larger flag carriers in a post-pandemic world, analysts have told CNBC, despite the massive support packages deployed from governments around the world.https://t.co/pftOAoWPS2
— USTransportNews (@USTransportNews) September 16, 2021
By comparison, IAG, British Airways expects to reach about 45% of its 2019 capacity. The numbers appear even bleaker for Lufthansa, which estimates it will only reach 40% of its 2019 levels in 2021.
Paul Charles, the head of travel consultancy company, The PC Agency, told CNBC that larger legacy airline carriers can’t adapt their prices as quickly or easily as their budget rivals as the industry begins reopening post-COVID.
The operative question at this point is whether or not the larger legacy carriers will have to be more competitive with budget rivals or if their trends will eventually spring back to 2019 levels.
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