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Will travel experience change post-COVID?

Tourism, aviation, and hospitality have been the worst-hit sectors during COVID-19. A retailer will still be able to sell a shirt online at some point, but one can only travel virtually online.

With major airlines slashing jobs and aircraft manufacturers taking a massive hit in production when we finally do step into an aircraft post-COVID, the entire travel experience may change.

Boeing vs Airbusgreat rivals in the air travel business!

If you think about it, whenever you travel on an aircraft its highly likely, the flights you sit on are either Boeing or Airbus. They are the worlds largest aircraft manufacturers.  

Airbus vs Boeing is one of the great rivalries in the air travel business today. Much like Coke vs Pepsi (although not sure what the competition is here, Coke wins hands down). Boeing was the ‘OG’ great big American manufacturing company. And there wasn’t any other aircraft manufacturer that could stand toe to toe with Boeing.

Europe for the win…

State-run or influenced airlines in the 1960s wanted to upgrade their aircraft to the next generation. However, there weren’t any suitable European aircraft for flying available on the market to satisfy their needs. Boeing and other builders were too big for any single European firm to take on. The European governments wanted a slice of the growing airframe market. So, a few European firms pooled in their resources and formed the conglomerate, Airbus. They then brought to the market the A300 as a Boeing rival.

Fast forward a few years into the competition…

The Airbus A380 was a game-changer in the market. It was able to carry more passengers than ever before and allow airlines to dominate long-haul routes. The Boeing 787 however, was fuel-efficient and allowed airlines to reduce costs.

Then the Boeing 737 crashes happened… 

Boeing hit a massive reputation halt in 2017, the 737 MAX developed by Boeing entered service. Since then, 346 people died in two 737 MAX crashes. A Lion Air plane crashed on October 29, 2018, after taking off in Indonesia (189 died), and Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed after taking off in Ethiopia on March 10, 2019 (157 died). 

Coming out of an abysmal 2019, which saw Boeing’s deliveries cut in half due to safety issues surrounding the 737 MAX airliner. 2020 has shaped up to be equally bad, if not worse, for the American aviation giant.

COVID-19 has hit the entire aviation industry with full force. As countless flights were grounded for weeks due to widespread travel restrictions, many airlines suspended or cancelled orders of new airplanes, not to mention the production issues that both Boeing and Airbus faced amid the coronavirus outbreak. According to Statista, Airbus delivered 196 airplanes in the first six months of 2020. Boeing delivered just 20 commercial airplanes in the second quarter, bringing the total for the first six months of 2020 to 70.

To put this more in perspective for you…

Boeing has slashed over 12,000 jobs, and Airbus is planning to shed around 15,000 jobs over the next year.

Rest in peace, ‘Queen of the Skies’…

Just a few days ago, British Airways, the world’s biggest operator of Boeing 747 aircraft, has retired its entire fleet of the jumbo jets with immediate effect because of the damage the coronavirus has done to air travel. The Boeing 747 aircraft, has fondly been known as ‘The Queen of the Skies’. Boeing has been manufacturing the 747 aircraft for more than 50 years. 

COVID-19 has hit the travel sector, but when travel finally begins, what will the experience look like without these magnificent aircrafts to cater to our needs? Only time will tell…  

Did you like this blog? Listen to Arjun Sharma, Chairman, Select Group about how the retail & tourism sectors plan to bounce back once the lockdown is lifted here.

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