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Contributor Chris Tarry is in a thoughtful mood as tries to look into the future of air travel.

Whilst it is impossible to understate the impact of the invasion of Ukraine on its citizens, I need to consider the wider economic and, in this respect, the related consequences for airlines and the travel industry.

It is worthwhile taking a view on how things were developing and what the challenges were before the 24 February 2022 and what has changed with what likely effects and consequences.

These fall into two broad categories; operational and economic and where the economic factors for some airlines arise on both the revenue and cost side of the equation and whilst for others it will predominantly be a cost effect particularly through higher fuel prices (at the time of writing oil was trading at $139 a barrel with an expectation that it will at least stay high and at times move higher on the basis of negative news and as buyers seek alternative supplies to those from Russia but where the shortfall is unlikely to be completely made up).

Longer routings, avoiding Russian, Belarussian, Ukraine as well as Afghanistan airspace will also of course have an impact.  Beyond this higher oil prices and indeed other commodity prices will have an impact on overall economic growth, through inflation, and act as a brake. Furthermore, there are a number of these impacts that will remain even if, as must be hoped, the fighting stops soon.

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