In an interview with CNN’s Richard Quest on Business Traveller, Airbus CEO, Guillaume Faury, discussed how the travel industry is adapting and looking to recover from the impact of Covid-19.
With air traffic not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels before 2024, Faury told CNN that Airbus has to rethink their approach and invent new solutions. However, he told Quest he believes that the vast majority of consumers have accepted the new conditions to fly again.
Faury also referenced how the airline industry recovered from the September 11th attacks and eventually adapted, telling Quest that “We will be much better prepared for the next thing that could happen.”
Excerpts from the interview:
On how Airbus has responded to the Covid-19 pandemic:
“You do all kinds of risk scenarios and ‘What if all airlines are impacted at the same time across the world?’ It’s amazing. And yes, we had to look at the magnitude of the problem, try to invent solutions. It’s Covid-19 - it comes from the outside - you just have to accept it and do your very best in that situation.”
On whether the travel experience will ever be the same:
“It is important to remember what happened after 9/11. We thought we would never travel again the same way, that the passenger experience would be damaged forever. Actually, we have adapted to the new situation. To the new security systems and measures and become more efficient moving forward. I think we will learn a lot from Covid-19. We will be much better prepared for the next thing that could happen, and we will be back to a different normal life.”
On whether the public will sufficiently buy into ‘the new normal’:
“We see the traffic recovering, the middle seats are occupied… I think there is a large majority, at least in this part of the world, who has accepted [the new normal]. Of course, short distance is easier as a decision to start with, and when you start to fly again, and get used to the masks and the new measures, then you start to think of flying long distances. And I’m impatient to fly long distances again now.”
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