NO ONE TALKS ABOUT THE AIRLINES: WILL THEY SURVIVE?

Q – As a million-mile flyer with Delta I am always interested in the fate of the industry. I imagine given their size and economic impact. the government will find a way to support the DL’s, AA’s, and UA’s. But I wonder about the airline industry internationally. How extensively have they been damaged by lost revenue due to Covid and do you think they are likely to survive in the long run. Really enjoy your site but wish you would do more comparing the various credit cards and mileage plans.

A – The fate of the airline industry is a bit more than we can deal with in this space. We do think there is increasing cause for concern as the delay of the 2021 Europe and Alaska summer seasons are clearly going to be delayed if not canceled entirely. In Europe, the vaccine rollouts are lagging while new variants are causing confusion and fear. 

The UN World Tourism Organization says that international arrivals fell a staggering average of 74% last year. That essentially wiped out  $1.3 trillion in revenue and placed an estimated 120 million jobs at risk.

Those foreign carriers that enjoy strong government support will survive although cutbacks in service and staff will continue well into the future. But given where things look in February 2021, it would seem impossible to avoid the bankruptcy of major known-brand airlines. 

While the three major US carriers will survive at the cost of incurring even more debt and accompanying price increases, smaller carriers and several majors are struggling. This is forecast to hit hardest in Central and South America as well as Eastern Europe. 

We appreciate your recommendations to improve this site. But we are not mathematicians and that is what it takes to offer a meaningful analysis of credit card perks and airline loyalty programs. We have our favorites but we think it best to stay away from areas where others have more expertise. We suggest you start with viewfromthewing.com