Air travel in transition in turbulent new world

The attack has sent the airline industry into turmoil, according to Chris Walton, finance director of the low-cost airline.

The Association of European Airlines said three out of ten passengers had cancelled trips to the US, while British Airways and Virgin said they would cut jobs.

Walton told ‘We’re looking at two stages.’ The first stage is the immediate aftermath of the disaster, which he said will last for about two weeks. It would involve flight cancellations and increased security.

‘The logistics of getting trained people and equipment has been extremely difficult for carriers and airports,’ Walton explained.He said the second stage would involve assessing what the new world is going to be like. This, he said, would take not place until ‘things settle down’.

Non-US carriers, he added, would be ‘under less stress’, particularly European airlines and non-US low-cost carriers.

‘The low-cost sector should be able to profit from that because, relatively, it will have the better deals,’ Walton continued.

‘Airlines and airports will face tighter security measures. There may be additional costs, but they will be associated with engineering and logistics.’

Matthew Davies, American Express’ director of corporate consulting services in Europe, said business travel was affected temporarily, but companies will not cut it out completely because it is their means of growth.


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