Despite the best attempts of the latest Covid-19 variant 'Omicron', and a series of unilateral knee-jerk reactions from Governments around the world, global capacity this week remains stable. Rates are steady at 78.3 million, half of one percentage point down and the whole airline industry continues to watch events very closely, marvelling at the next crazy restriction that encourages travellers to find cunning ways to avoid taking a test. So far, fingers crossed at least, the airlines have not panicked.
There will inevitably be more restrictions on travel imposed in the next seven days, leading to people scrambling to get home earlier than anticipated, or sourcing lateral flow suppliers as part of their holidays. Such restrictions are at least now, intended to be short-term whilst authorities work out what is happening; what is happening is that the airline industry is being battered again but will survive.
Finishing the year at around three-quarters of pre-covid levels will represent an improvement on the first half of 2021, and a steady level of shortfall has occurred over the last few months. Any hopes of kicking on in the second quarter of 2022 may now be at risk, but demand remains strong, at least based on the chaos of crowds I personally witnessed at one airport over the weekend.
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