Airlines around the world have reacted in not dissimilar ways to the threat of the CoVid-19 virus outbreak.
However one near universal reaction has been to cull the short haul drinks and on board snacks supply. Many have started to push that into mid-haul (3-6 hours) and some are warning long haul passengers that other than water, tea and coffee, even food services are reduced or cut altogether and they should bring their own.
This is nothing to do with stopping the virus, and while it’s being made to look that way, usually by implication and the fact passengers will in most cases assume that’s why, it most certainly isn’t.
The real reason is that most of the airlines are already panicking over a sharp drop in bookings, state imposed route curtailments and god knows what else that might come their way. This is about cutting costs, and saving money – and it’s also about taking an opportunity to remove something they don’t like the expense of providing.
Don’t be in the least bit surprised that once this is all over, many of the short haul routes never get theses services back, where they even existed. Mid-haul will likely be changed forever and economy long haul across the board will be reduced another notch.
The reason it won’t just bounce back is that aviation is about to hit a financial brick wall not unlike the post 9-11 saga which then in 2001-3, hit SARS in 2003-4, hardly recovering by 2005 to a couple of better years before it hit the crisis of 2008-12.
The SARS outbreak cut global aviation 5.2% – IATA is using figures of 8.5% for CoVid-19. Some analysts are predicting 10-12%.
Just when airlines were having some of their best years it seems that once again everything’s going off in another direction.