A number of travel businesses were in an upbeat mood this week, with some predicting operators will begin to see the green shoots of recovery from the second quarter of 2021.
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates 111 million global travel and tourism jobs could return this year, according to its latest economic forecast. WTTC said it expects the travel sector to begin its road to recovery in March, with a “strong summer of travel” ahead.
This positive outlook was backed by a surge in forward airline bookings for EasyJet this week. The carrier announced a 250% rise in summer bookings compared to last year, despite the recent introduction of tougher lockdown rules in Europe and the closure of travel corridors in the UK. Stocks in IAG and Ryanair were also trading 1.9% and 1% higher respectively on the back of increased confidence in a post-COVID travel revival.
In the US, travel hubs are doing their part to help speed up the mass vaccination across the country. More than a dozen US airports are now doubling as coronavirus testing sites, including Los Angeles International, Chicago O’Hare and San Francisco International. Eastern Iowa Airport will also become the first airport to implement a new Federation Aviation Administration programme to screen passengers for COVID-19 before they enter security areas. If successful, the scheme could be rolled out to more than 500 airports across America.
Elsewhere, Seoul Incheon Airport has overtaken Hong Kong and Singapore to become Asia’s busiest airport based on international traffic. Incheon handled 11.96 million passengers last year, more than the 11.8 million passengers handled by Singapore Changi Airport and 8.84 million passengers at Hong Kong International Airport.
And finally, Scottish-based brewery BrewDog has launched a cheeky online petition to rename Glasgow Prestwick Airport as ‘Joe Biden International’ in honour of the new incumbent US President. The campaign is unlikely to sit well with outgoing President Donald Trump, who regularly uses the airport to visit his nearby golf course, Trump Turnberry. The petition has received over 5,000 signatures at the time of writing.