Travel demand up in 2021 but still a long way to go: IATA

Balancing factors will keep airfares stable post-pandemic, says IATA’s de Juniac

GENEVA — IATA’s General Director Alexandre de Juniac told reporters on a March 17 conference call that even as travel begins to ramp up again, air ticket prices should remain fairly stable.

While some have predicted bargain-basement fares as airlines look to stimulate demand – and others say fares will skyrocket as airlines look to recoup their losses – de Juniac said balancing factors will likely keep fares from going too high or low.

As reported in the Montreal Gazette, de Juniac said: “You have contradictory issues there. On one hand, you have routes that are not served as well as they were. On the other hand, you have very weak demand that pushes prices down. The airlines desperately need some passengers, so they are doing a lot of efforts to offer promotions and to reduce the airfares. All in all, I think prices should remain stable. They shouldn’t move significantly, either higher or lower.”

 

IATA TRAVEL PASS SUCCESSFULLY TESTED ON FIRST INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT

Meanwhile, as reported on March 16, the IATA Travel Pass digital health certification app officially took flight for the first time this week with Singapore Airlines, on its Singapore – London route.

It marks the second phase of SIA’s digital health verification process trials, which is based on the IATA Travel Pass framework.

Passengers with mobile phones running on Apple’s iOS operating system can download the IATA Travel Pass app, and create a digital ID comprising their profile photo and passport information. They can also insert their flight information into the app. They can also book their pre-departure Covid-19 test at one of seven participating clinics in Singapore via a dedicated online portal. They can then register at the clinic using the digital ID and flight information in the app.

SIA says participants will need to show their confirmed status in the app to the check-in staff in Changi Airport before flight departure. In line with current regulatory requirements, they will also need to bring a physical copy of their health certificate that is issued by the clinic where they took their Covid-19 test.

 

 

“Today’s success is a big win for many parties. It gives travellers a one-stop-shop to help them comply with the new rules for travel. It shows that governments can efficiently manage these travel requirements with complete confidence in the identity of the passenger and the veracity of the travel credentials — importantly, avoiding long queues. And it’s a purpose-built means for airlines to manage the new travel requirements without drowning in inefficient and ineffective paper processes,” said de Juniac.

THAI Airways and THAI Smile have come onboard with the IATA Travel Pass too. Other airlines taking part in IATA Travel Pass trials include Emirates, Etihad and Air New Zealand.

 

IATA AGM POSTPONED; DE JUNIAC READY TO MAKE WAY FOR WALSH

In other news IATA announced that its 77th annual AGM and World Air Transport Summit has been postponed.

The event, originally June 27 – 29, 2021, is now scheduled for Oct. 3 – 5, 2021. The event will take place in Boston.

“We believe that it is vital to do all we can to meet as an industry face to face. Doing so will affirm that airlines can safely connect the world, demonstrate our industry’s resilience, and confirm the inestimable value of in-person meetings, facilitated by aviation,” said de Juniac.

As announced in November 2020, de Juniac will step down from his role at the end of this month, and will be succeeded by Willie Walsh, former CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG), parent company of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and more. Walsh will become IATA’s eighth Director General effective April 1, 2021.