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IS COVID-19 THE DEATH KNELL OF LARGE LONG-HAUL PLANES? CHANGE AND ADAPTABILITY WILL SAVE THE DAY FOR STAKEHOLDERS

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines are expected to exchange large planes and long-haul flights for fewer and smaller planes. It has hastened the end of the largest passenger aeroplanes. There are 110 Airbus A380 planes and 356 Boeing 747 currently in service.

They were among the first to be grounded this year as demand fell, with business class seats left empty as travel bans were instituted and countries closed their borders. Also short-haul carriers will soon offer rock-bottom prices to start generating revenues and force down competitors' prices across the industry. Social distancing will remain a reality. EasyJet has said it expects to leave middle seats on planes empty as a short-term measure to enforce social distancing and gives customers more confidence. Global traffic is now down 80% and IATA predicts revenues will plunge by about £250billion or 55% in 2020 due to the pandemic. IATA’s director general Alexandre de Juniac, does not expect a restart of the same industry that closed in March 2020. Some airlines will survive. These will be mostly the nimble. Competitive and flexible ones and the ones that can quickly adapt to the change competitive environment. EasyJet said it could survive a 9-month shutdown thanks to its measures to contend with the coronavirus crisis and is planning for a slow recovery saying it had the capacity to adapt itself to reduced demand for the foreseeable future, then have the flexibility to increase as demand picks up again. Airfares are expected to decrease by 35% through 2021 as airlines aims to draw customers back in before prices might rise dramatically by 2025.