The trend of airlines quickly altering their networks based on fluctuations in the market which emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic is here to stay, according to IATA’s Regional VP for the Americas Peter Cerda.
Cerda told Routes Americas 2022 that the days of long-term relationships between airports and airlines are unlikely to return in the immediate future.
Cerda said: “I think there’s going to be a lot of trial and error, but airlines are much more flexible than they were before, utilizing their resources in a more effective manner.
“The industry is going to operate differently in the future and this is going to give a lot more flexibility and opportunities to consumers. We have to remember right now we still have around 6,000 city pair connections around the world that have not restarted again.”
“On the issue of long-term relationships, if the route is not working they will pull it and they’ll only return when it can be profitable.”
On the flipside, Cerda said that as a result of the pandemic airlines are going to “take more risks” when finding new route opportunities.
Responding to Cerda’s remarks, VINCI Airports’ Director Aviation Development Alvaro Leite said that airports “have to acknowledge that there is a need for airlines to focus on the immediate future." However, he agreed with Cerda that “there is a willingness to try that wasn’t there before” which could benefit airports and destinations when communicating network growth opportunities to airlines.