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Flying may never be as cheap again

Flybe is among the airlines hurt by coronavirus.
REUTERS/Phil Noble
RIP, Flybe.
  • Natasha Frost
By Natasha Frost



Expect quieter skies—and better service. This was the future promised by Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, in a call yesterday with investors, who described “a more premium experience” for “the customer of tomorrow.” In other words: Pay up.

To navigate a biting crisis, he said, Delta would be looking to “rescale” and streamline its business, reduce how full its planes are in the short-to-medium term, and focus its energies on delivering better service—at a cost.

This streamlining is likely to be industry-wide. In a note published April 13, Cowen analysts Conor Cunningham and Helane Becker suggested US airlines of the future would be ”smaller, leaner, and more efficient,” following the eventual removal of an estimated 900 aircraft from service, out of 23,600 passenger and cargo crafts worldwide, and as many as 100,000 job losses in the US alone. 

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