The pandemic is not less than a red poison for the travel and tourism industry. After dreadful lockdown conditions, Australia finally opened its borders in late 2021.
It was presumed that 2022 would bring a happy hour for Aussies, the tourism and aviation sector. However, the coronavirus is not cutting any slack for free travel.
Skyrocketing positive cases across Australia
Australia is experiencing a high rate of coronavirus cases. In the last one week, Australia has been getting around 85,000 COVID-19 positive cases on an average. Right after Christmas, numbers have only increased.
Unfortunately, there is a high possibility that reported cases are far less than the actual numbers. One main reason could be the current inefficiency of the testing system in the country. However, despite a significant surge in COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has opposed another lockdown in the country. He is campaigning for “push through” to maintain a balance between COVID-19 cases and the economy.
GOOD WATCH: How is the Omicron variant impacting aviation and travel stocks?
How are the travel stocks reacting?
Now was supposed to be the optimum recovery time for Australian travel stocks. However, looking at the cases, recovery of the sector looks not less than a dream. The primary issues that the aviation and tourism sector are facing is loss of work staff due to high COVID-19 positivity rate, isolation and fall in demand for few services. Following which Virgin Australia has already cut down one-fourth of its flights for January and February.
In November, as Australia had reopened its borders and eased the lockdown restrictions, the hope for recovery had taken shape. Booking rose as the Christmas season and summer season approached.
Qantas had earlier reported that it observed improvement in demand as things started getting better in December. However, with the rise in COVID-19 cases in January till now, the airline has indicated the demand would go low again due to fear of the virus. Additionally, the number of hospital cases could directly show how the aviation and tourism industry would perform.
On the other hand, Air New Zealand was hopeful of recovery in January. However, the rise of Omicron cases across countries have made the hopes bleak. Currently the airline is seeking an additional liquidity package of NZD 500 million. The package may help the Company until the pandemic situation gets better.
ALSO READ: What challenges await Australia’s travel sector in 2022?
All in all, the travel and aviation industry need capitalisation. If cases don’t fall within the next two months, the road to recovery is likely to get tougher for the sectors. Scott Morrison is a few months away from his federal elections. Thus, it will be interesting to note how he tackles the third wave until the elections are on the door.
SOURCE: KALKINE MEDIA
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