Airline Executives Concerned As Demand For Air Travel Plummets

Airline executives are concerned as demand for air travel takes a nosedive.

The heads of several airlines are worried their companies could post a third quarter loss as demand for air travel flatlines. Last week, Southwest Airlines announced they were seeing more cancellations and a decrease in future reservations. Aviation expert Jay Ratliff notes the recent rise in cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

“It’s causing a lot of people to hit the pause button, and especially on the corporate side of things,” Ratliff said. “That’s one of the things that the airlines were really hoping that they would see respond. They thought that the corporate traveler was going to come back in mass.”

Some airline CEOs have kept quiet, thinking that public comment could push reluctant fliers away. September is traditionally one of the slowest air travel months of the year.

“Airlines get 70 percent of their money from the corporate travel side of things, and that group has yet to really come back,” Ratliff explained. “That’s one of the many things on top of other things that are continuing to worry airline executives right now.”

There could be a silver lining. Some airlines have stopped raising fares in certain markets as a way to spur travelers to book future flights.

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