Tough winter for Europe

Tough winter for Europe

European airlines are set to face a tough winter due to the ongoing pandemic and travel confidence likely remaining suppressed. Low fares will be key to stimulating demand as travel restrictions are likely to continue, says GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

Gus Gardner, associate travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, says that during what is traditionally the offseason in Europe, the pandemic is likely to make operating conditions difficult.

‘Although demand was beginning to return this summer, winter could be a different story. Covid-19 cases could potentially rise, and further variants may develop, reducing travellers’ willingness to fly. With numerous governments ending furlough support, including the UK, labour costs will inevitably rise, and financially difficult decisions must be made.

‘A balance must be struck between serving numerous destinations and keeping operating costs under control. Airlines must be nimble to survive.’

Gardner says lowering fares to stimulate demand will be a tactic deployed this winter to fill seats. This could attract the 57% of European respondents who rated price as the most important factor when selecting an airline brand, according to a live GlobalData poll.

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