Global travel has ground to a halt by COVID-19 and the big question on everyone’s lips is, when will it be safe to start travelling again and how will we start travelling?
As coronavirus continues to keep the world behind closed doors, the one question everyone is asking is when will this all end? Ask experts when we will be able to travel again and the answers span the spectrum.
The more optimistic predict summer will see people start to venture overseas, others suggest autumn. While the more pessimistic say it will be 2021 before travel fully resumes and consumers get their confidence back.
While no-one really knows, here is what some industry experts predict the future may hold and how the wealthy will turn to private travel in the future.
Can we travel in the summer?
In an interview with CBS This Morning , Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said a normal summer of travel “can be on the cards”. He added he says that with “some caution” and it depends on the ability to continue to flatten the curve.
A Harris Poll revealed 21 percent of people would stay in a hotel within a month. Within three months, that rose to 41 percent, with 60 percent saying they would book a hotel within six months.
Half of those quizzed said they would fly after four to six months.
According to experts at OAG, which analyses airline data, domestic travel will rebound first, starting within two to three months of being given the all-clear.
The rise of chartered flights
One thing that is for sure, when the world has been given the all-clear, travel will bounce back. Experts predict domestic and short-haul travel will be the first segments to rebound as travellers dip their toes back in the water and regain confidence.
This has led many industry experts to believe the chartered plane and helicopter industry will see a huge post-coronavirus boom.
In an interview with CNN Travel , Alain Leboursier, director of sales at Swiss private jet broker Luna Jets, reported an "impressive increase" in bookings and enquiries in February and March, due to COVID-19 concerns.
He added in February, about 15 percent of requests were related to coronavirus. In March that doubled to 30 percent.
In March, Hong Kong international airport reported its busiest day for private jets as wealthy Chinese and local residents made a dash return before strict quarantine measures were imposed on all arrivals.
Tourism take-off with chartered helicopters and planes
Given the inevitable concerns about safe travel once the world has been given the all-clear, chartering a private plane or helicopter for travel will be a top option for those who can afford it.
A study by Austria-based GlobeAir revealed the risk of exposure to coronavirus is 30 times lower on private flights compared to airlines. This makes it a much more appealing mode of transport.
With the option to fly out of private terminals, avoid long check-in, security and immigration queues at the airport, and crowded planes, interest in chartered flights post-coronavirus is slated to rise.