masking the problem
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released an updated global passenger forecast predicting that air travel will not return to pre-COVID-19 levels until 2024, a year later than previously projected.
Passenger traffic worldwide in June 2020 fell by 86.5 per cent compared to the same period last year. This compares with a 91.0 per cent contraction in May.
Boeing in July recorded a sixth straight month with more cancellations of commercial aircraft orders than new orders being placed, a continuing pattern that reflects the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the air travel industry.
The issues facing the global travel industry are far from unique however it’s relying on metrics which predict a return to pre-COVID levels of business appear misplaced.
Tectonic shifts in consumer behaviour, culture and habits would suggest one should be looking for a return to abnormalcy. Assumptions need to be discarded, expectations reconfigured and plans cancelled.
Indeed COVID and the ensuing political and financial disarray it has caused expose the myriad flaws in a plethora of industries. Children’s education is as much free day care as it is an arena for learning. Work at an office is as much social and network effect as it is an environment in which to focus on task completion.
Harvard’s class of 2023 reported that 20% of first-year students have deferred. Harvard had also anticipated 40% of their undergraduate population choosing to live on campus; they now expect only 25% based on the number of students who have accepted invitations.
Meanwhile although classes for this year will now all be taught online, tuition will remain at 50k USD…
In a landmark move for Europe, global asset management firm Schroders has announced that it has embraced flexible working conditions, including working from home, on a permanent basis.
“Rethinking the rulebook on flexibility will ultimately prove a huge shot in the arm for productivity in the long term,” said Emma Holden, the human resources boss at Schroders.
This opens up the discussion on the future of the worlds global cities; it appears to be an evolutionary shift rather than revolutionary as employees and employers embrace the balance between work from home and the office.
What is clear is that even marginal changes in societal attitudes will usher in vast changes in many industries. Follow on seismic shifts occurring in all facets of the economy make for an incredibly fertile landscape for companies that embrace the new abnormal…
“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked” — Warren Buffett