Photo by Arturo Rey
The European Commission recently published a guide on “how to proceed safely.” If the proposal is widely adopted, the journey will become more complicated compared to the past. And that might become more expensive too.
For starters, the commission believes travel restrictions must be lifted slowly on behalf of public health. Sounds wise.
It also recommends “measures to limit contact” between workers and passengers, as well as passenger-to-passenger contact. That includes the use of personal protective equipment, such as masks and barriers, reduction of tables in public areas, more cleaning, and procedures for boarding a return flight.
The commission also advocates “reducing, if possible, passenger density” as well. That means fewer people on planes and trains.
Europe as a whole has been hit, roughly, as hard as the US by the Covid-19 pandemic. European countries count about 1.3 million cases of corona virus and more than 154,000 deaths. The US reports more than 1.4 million cases and nearly 88,000 deaths.
This document offers a glimpse into the future of air travel. There will be fewer people at the airport. They will wear masks. Some changes, such as temperature checks and health surveys, can be similar to how travel changed after 9/11, when the Transportation Safety Administration was made in the US.
However, overall, the travel experience may not be longer or more difficult. Europe also advocates for expanding the use of technology to streamline entry and ascending procedures.
Another reality for future travelers might be the use of “voluntary” contact tracking applications. Contact tracing is designed to limit outbreaks by making it possible to alert people who have been in contact with an infected person.
The less tourist “density” can mean higher prices, with fewer people covering the majority of costs. But the main impact on plane tickets, buses, subways and trains is not yet known. Many proposed changes sound inflation, but there are also offsets.
Safer predictions: In the absence of a vaccine, the travel sector will be smaller than in the past. That realization, together with the acute effects of the virus, has hit the aviation, aerospace and tourism industries.
A lot of pain has been felt by travel investors in 2020. The stock of Aerospace’s track supplier Barron has fallen by around 50% this year. Incoming stock
(ticker: BA), a company that is above the aerospace value chain, is down more than 60% so far in 2020. The average stock of Boeing aviation customers is down about 65% this year, on average.
Cruise operator shares fell by around 75%, hotel stock fell by around 40% from casino prices. All drops are far worse than comparable waterfalls
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Write to Al Root at [email protected]