Willie Walsh, the Chief Executive of the International Airlines Group, said that demand for flights won’t return to 2019 levels until 2023. His group includes British Airways and Iberia, two of the largest airlines in Europe. It is a telling statement from one of the most respected people in the industry.
At the moment there is plenty of hopeful thinking about the holiday industry both on the island and abroad but it is evident that things are going to take a long time to return to what we called “normal.” The Balearic tourist industry wants to re-open as soon as possible once all the health and safety measures are in place but perhaps it is time that we faced the rather nasty prospect of a summer with a limited holiday season. Some would say very limited.
I am all for being upbeat because tourism is the livelihood of this lovely island but if a leading figure in the aviation industry doesn´t believe that things will return to normal until 2023...then we better start thinking about the future. Hotels are introducing tough new health and safety guidelines, airports will be doing likewise; they will be social distancing on the beach. The list goes on. Until a vaccine is produced then I think we will have to get accustomed to the new normal. The old normal is a long way ahead. Public safety is paramount. Majorca is going to have to dig deep and hope that its millions of visitors remain loyal...we may not see them for a while.