EasyJet prepares for post-COVID-19 Europe as continent considers reopening to tourism, says GlobalData

Following easyJet’s announcement that it plans to resume domestic flights in France and in the UK on 15 June;

John Vandesquille, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“The COVID-19 pandemic is severely affecting tourism in many European countries, with GlobalData’s forecasts for 2020 showing a 37.4% drop in foreign arrivals in Italy, a 40.1% drop in Spain and 41.4% in France. Domestic tourism is not immune either, with an expected 22.3% and 27.4% decrease in the UK and France, respectively.

“As such, it is not surprising to see the stakeholders of the tourism industry trying to resume their operations at the first signs of improvement on the COVID-19 front. After all, the summer months represent 34% of all yearly travels in Europe and it is in the industry’s – and the countries’ – best interest to get tourism back on track for peak season.

“EasyJet’s plan to progressively resume its flight schedule, which echoes the announcement by Ryanair to start flying again from July, shows that airlines are trying to stay ahead of the curve and prepare themselves for the end of the crisis. It makes sense considering that a large number of countries, including major destinations such as Italy, Spain, Portugal or France have already said they will be ready to welcome tourists this summer.

“However, a large number of travel restrictions are still in place across the continent, with little information regarding when they will be lifted. This puts airlines in a difficult position as they cannot release their flight schedules and sell tickets for them without knowing when the borders will fully reopen.

“Furthermore, the burdensome health and safety measures that will need to be implemented are likely here to stay, and many airlines have already said they will probably have to raise their prices to offset the costs of these measures. All of these elements could potentially have an impact on demand, keeping airlines further in limbo.”

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