To ensure passenger safety major airlines have vacated the middle seats to ensure social distancing up in the clear blue skies.
American, Southwest, United, Delta and other carriers are granting this wish for all passengers by not filling all seats in the flight. However, these airlines will not be practicing this forever as many experts believe that this is a short lived happy moment.
Every seat unoccupied leaves a major dent in the cash flows and it won’t be soon that the fares will rise as the cost will be distributed to the occupied ones resulting in about 52% increase in the ticket prices.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), is being a strong advocate of preventive measures adopted by airlines during this pandemic phase making it more safe for passengers to travel. Airlines in the region need to fill about 75% of the seats to operate at par. Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said he views social distancing on planes, as a temporary measure.
Since LCC airlines cater to the masses and a price hike will only erode the bookings, travelers will try other alternates and avoid paying high for the same flights which could be 40% – 45% lower in price in pre COVID-19 times.
U.S. airlines have parked 49% of their planes, the planes still flying are seeing an average 17 passengers per day, compared with 85 to 100 earlier this year before the crisis hit. “Right now that is obviously an easier thing to do,” Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram.