This is the blow that the airlines feared. Already shaken by the resurgence of the Covid-19 epidemic in Europe in recent weeks, they see the future of their activity darkening with the irruption of the South African variant Omicron. Many countries are tightening their health measures again. In quick succession, Japan, Israel and Morocco have announced the closure of their borders. These are just the first of a list that should grow longer with the days.
Above all, this epidemic outbreak comes as companies began to see a return to normalcy. “We are entering a difficult period, with renewed concern in Europe coming at the worst possible time, when people are supposed to book for the Christmas holidays”, declared, Tuesday, November 23, Michael O’Leary, founder and general manager of the low cost Ryanair, first European company.
In fact, reservations for Christmas are plummeting. In the West Indies alone, plagued by social unrest, they show a decline of 10% at Air France and Air Caraïbes – “Especially in Guadeloupe”, specifies Air France. “Since September-October, the indicators were green. Winter is the season for tourist exchanges. And there come social events in the overseas departments of Guadeloupe and Martinique. In November, we lost 10% of our fillings “, confirms Marc Rochet, CEO of Air Caraïbes and president of the low-cost subsidiary French Bee, interviewed Monday, November 29 on BFM-TV.
Air traffic declines sharply in Europe
The air gap encountered by airlines is already having an impact on the figures. According to Eurocontrol, the European organization for the safety of air navigation, air traffic on the Old Continent is falling sharply. At the end of November, it recorded only 20,000 flights in European skies against 25,000 in September. The reopening of US borders earlier this month did not compensate for the flow of passengers to other destinations.
The riots in the West Indies have darkened the picture. Bad news for Air France, Air Caraïbes and Corsair
This represents a halt for the companies which, until the All Saints holidays, expected a return to normalcy faster than expected. The ace ! The riots in the West Indies have darkened the picture. Bad news for Air France, Air Caraïbes and Corsair, who relied on the French desire for sunshine during the end of the year celebrations to fly their long-haul fleet again.
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