Who’d work for an airline?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Matt’s cartoon on the front page of today’s Telegraph, as one might expect of a master of comic commentary, juxtaposes the current coronavirus crisis with the other crisis of our times – climate change.

tail fins of British Airways planes
BA has suspended flights to China. And Italy. And…

A desk-bound manager at British Airways (although it could be any airline in the world) is visited by a colleague who says, “Good news. We could be a zero carbon business by next week.”

It highlights the twin problems facing the airline industry. People like you and me aren’t flying because of coronavirus; thousands of flights are being cancelled and some countries are not allowing passengers in from certain countries anyway.

On top of that the pressure to cut carbon emissions is also occupying the minds of airline bosses so they are – like EasyJet for example – spending considerable time and effort looking at hybrid or electrically powered planes.

Who would want to work for an airline at the moment?

Cabin crews and ground staff are being asked to take unpaid leave or even worse, being laid off until the market for passengers picks up and other staff are trying to second-guess when that upturn will begin so they can launch promotions, sales or awareness campaigns.

Senior staff are just counting the pennies and hoping that the cash lasts.

Some airlines tried to point out that the recycled air in cabins was purified and more purified than that found in air-conditioned buildings but such comments were lost in all the news about coronavirus generally.

There are untold rumours about which airlines will go bust (and it is in the plural rather than the singular)

The only bright spot is that they could be forward buying jet fuel at the cheapest prices they will have seen for a long time.

But although the cartoon is about the airline industry, it could just as easily apply to cruise companies.

The American and Canadian governments have suggested that people don’t take cruises. The British government suggests the over 70’s avoid cruises and there are too many stories about ports turning cruise ships away.

Like airlines they are finding that there are few takers despite heavy discounting.

But, I say confidently, it will all charge when the virus goes away.

Won’t it?

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