Spanish Airlines Expect Tough Autumn And Winter After Disastrous Summer
Spanish airlines are expecting a tough autumn and winter even if some traffic is resuming after a summer that has seen passenger traffic nosedive 80% due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the head of Spain's airlines industry group has said.
Capacity in September and October will likely be 40% of what it was last year, Asociacion de Lineas Aereas (ALA) chief Javier Gandara told a news conference.
"The actual number of passengers is much lower than the capacity as planes are flying less full," Gandara said, adding that given occupancy ratios, the number of passengers in September and October is set to be close to 20%-30% of what it was one year ago.
The following months are also expected to be tough, with less visibility at this time, he said, forecasting that passenger traffic during the winter season will not be much higher than 30% of last year's.
Gandara estimated a likely loss of 113 million passengers in Spain this year, with lost revenues for the industry of up to €15 billion or possibly even higher, considering that the more lucrative long-distance travel is suffering more than domestic and regional flights.
Gandara said that airlines need government support, including cash to meet financial obligations, an extension of furlough schemes until Easter 2021 and lower airport fees.
He added that a no-deal Brexit would further hurt airlines as it would lead to an increase of airport fees of approximately €6 per passenger coming from Britain.