As discussed last week, I can really see huge changes afoot for the airline sector. Here is BA reducing its rather heroic 70% capacity next year forecasts in favour of a 30% capacity next year forecast. this is much more in-line with the rest of the industry.
But it does show capacity overall in the sector being reduced by over 66% in total for the next six months at least - and which of us knows really how long this will last for?
BA have made a billion pound loss for the quarter, in reality they can sustain this for over a year in terms of pure financing. However, when do they press the button on permanently halving the size of the business? it is only but hugely cutting capacity that they can give up leases, reduce staff and other maintenance costs as well as slots at the airports where they operate. Reducing capacity will also allow them to charge more for the fewer flights that they are offering as it will bring back pricing pressure.
A reason I am obsessing over this though for you, readers, is that this is a cast iron example of how things have changed in the world for a long time to come due to Covid-19.
At this rate, no 3rd runway will be need at Heathrow or Gatwick - indeed, we may not even need all of Stansted, Luton and Gatwick airports with 50% reductions in capacity. Soon conversation will turn to mothballing one of these at this rate.
There can be no swift return from here to what existed in travel infrastructure terms in January 2019 - lots of business case for travel has gone too - who among us wants to go to a 20,000 person trade show in Nice or Berlin in the next few years for example? The covid scars are going to run deep.