IS THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY ON LIFE SUPPORT OR IS THERE SOME REASON FOR OPTIMISM AS WE PLAN TO FLY?

Q – Realizing no one knows for sure, I am wondering how the travel industry views 2021 in terms of the health of the airline industry? Will our big three, Delta, American, and United survive, or should we be limiting future international travel bookings exclusively to foreign carriers? Are some of the foreign carriers in trouble? Can you name them? I just can’t find anything in the media listing the ones in trouble.

A – No. Don’t avoid US carriers. The general consensus is that the three largest US carriers have borrowed enough money and have the opportunity to borrow more to sustain them into the spring of 2023 under current conditions. The major European airlines will, as a result of European Union cooperation and the ability to make quick decisions, recover more quickly than their American counterparts.

The media will rarely list airlines or any other travel entity on the brink of bankruptcy. This has a lot to do with media responsibility and cause and effect. No publication wants to do a story that contributes toward a loss of passengers and the sudden failure of a major corporation. There have, however, been industry analysts who have identified airlines that are “on the brink” of insolvency. These include South African Airways, Norwegian Air, Malaysia Airlines, and Thai Airways. Both Thai and Malaysia often place among the world’s top five airlines.