The times of the Rona has been very impactful on all industries other than the medical one and it should surprise no one that one of the industries hit hardest by this is the airline industry. Many airlines around the world are operating at a very limited capacity and others have completely shut down operations temporarily or even permanently.
The desire to go to exotic places or visit family and friends isn't ever going to change but a lot of people have been avoiding doing this because travel still is a massive pain in the ass and even before Covid, plane travel for those of us commoners that fly in coach it wasn't a nice experience to begin with. These days, with all the precautions when I board a plane I feel more like I am entering a biohazard laboratory than a flight to go on a vacation.
I recently read some articles that there are certain experts out there that are predicting that the cost of airline travel is going to increase dramatically soon and there are several reasons why that is. The main one being business travel.
For most of us, getting on a flight is all about going to see Grandma or heading out for a vacation. However, a very large portion of the airline industries profits are generated by business travelers going hither and tither for various meetings around the world. Because of the pandemic and the limitations places on travel outside of one's own country, this portion of the industry has all but completely disappeared.
Before seeing the light and realizing that I would rather make dramatically less money than be a slave to an office, I was working in an industry that involved a TON of travel. My company, realizing that this position had a very high turnover rate because of the fact that people generally don't want to travel and be away from their families try to make this as comfortable as possible for those that will take on the job. I was on the road 80% of the year and I always got to fly business or first class and I always got to stay at hotels that were mostly a lot nicer than my own house.
In the past 2 years, these types of positions have been all but eliminated because people couldn't travel at all for a while and even when they could, it was such a pain in the ass that the already high turnover rate of the traveling businessperson increased to even higher levels.
Now, instead of physically traveling somewhere, companies have developed technology that can virtually take you to a meeting instead of actually going to one. To me, this is much much worse than the actual travel and would be a mind-numbingly boring job to have. It also takes away from the human connection that a lot of "deals" are based upon in sales, contracts, and other business dealings. It is difficult to form a relationship with a potential new client via FaceTime.
The fact remains though that the business travel industry has all but completely vanished and companies that did this, realizing the huge savings they are making by not having their representative physically travel around the world, are probably unlikely to return to their old ways even once the world get's their Covid situation under control.
Airplanes are remarkably expensive and flying them isn't a bargain either. Therefore, the airlines really aren't going to have much choice but to increase the costs of flights across the board for leisure travelers or go out of business.
At the moment, flights are a BIT more expensive than they were 2 years ago, but industry experts are predicting that once the bailouts from various governments cease, the airlines will have no choice but to raise prices for travel. So if you were getting used to those really cheap international flights that seemed too good to be true I got bad news for you if these experts are correct: It probably isn't going to last much longer.
I suppose if I was going to try to turn these lemons into lemonade in any way that I can I would say that perhaps people will adjust their lifestyles to take longer vacations due to the costs incurred with the flights. In my decades of experience a 2-week vacation isn't long enough to experience what a place is really like so perhaps people will seek to lengthen the time they spend at a particular place, rather than trying to go to a bunch of different ones.