(USNewsMag.com) – Throughout 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, many industries suffered, but the airline industry was perhaps one of the most affected. Restrictions and people’s hesitations about traveling cost airlines $35 billion in profits, while revenues were down nearly $50 billion. It seems like with soaring demand and packed flights, despite mask mandates in place, 2022 shows to be a promising year for everyone.
Increased Travel in 2021
In 2021, many people seemed to welcome some sense of normalcy back in their lives. Travel was up, reaching 82% of the traffic seen in 2019. Thanks to a still lowered demand for services, ticket prices remained fairly cheap, allowing people to travel for a fraction of the cost they would have pre-pandemic. Mask mandates and testing requirements didn’t seem to diminish the desire to fly, whether for work or pleasure. Still, many flights, particularly those early on in the year, had open seats — some spaced out intentionally — and reduced services such as fewer food and beverage options.
2022 and Beyond
Now that people are back to work and kids are back in school, it only makes sense they’ll take the next step and begin to travel more. The Air Current, a publication dedicated solely to airline industry news and happenings, predicts 2022 will see a return to 2019 levels and beyond. These full flights will result in higher ticket prices and a return to longer security waits, as well as the hustle and bustle we’ve all come to expect in an airport.
While it was the low ticket prices that initially spurred increased demand for travel, people looking to book flights this year shouldn’t expect to find as many deals. Instead, it’s a good idea to book trips months in advance to get the lowest prices possible. Some ticket prices have already skyrocketed in anticipation of demand, much like they did this holiday season. Other factors include rising fuel prices, but even this should settle down if oil production increases.
Whether you’re looking to take that tropical vacation planned pre-pandemic or expecting to travel a lot more this year for business, it’s a good idea to employ advanced planning. While analyses have shown 2022 may exceed 2019 levels, there’s no guarantee it will happen. In the meantime, though, proper preparation is key to ensuring trips go off without a hitch.
Where are you itching to go this year?
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