Airlines scramble to send flights to Europe as it starts opening its airports to U.S. flights


Earlier this week, when the NATO summit was taking place, the European Union had said that it would put the United States of America in its safe origin countries list. This was greeted with cheer and a sigh of relief from both sides as the airlines, tourism, and hospitality industries all over the world have taken a mighty hit from the minuscule, undetected by the eye, detected by high resolution microscopes, the powerful coronavirus.


The three major U.S. airlines, American, Delta and United have added new transatlantic flights very quickly. In the past, these airlines used to draw up flight plans and ad campaigns months in advance and make it a huge show.


The very same airlines are scrambling to put together as many flights as possible across the Atlantic in an effort to shore up revenues. The airline industry has reportedly lost $32 billion in revenue to date.


Domestic holiday bookings this year are close to pre-pandemic levels and the rates also match those that were available in 2019. Larger jets, that would have normally been deployed overseas, were booked for local flights.


However, the demand for flights to Europe is rising. On Friday, fare-tracking app Hopper said that the number of searches for European flights has doubled when compared to the same time period last month.


Travel sight Kayak said that searches are less by 11 percent when compared with those in 2019. It also said that airfares for July between the nation and the continent cost an average of $929, which is six percent less than fares in 2019.


COVID-19 travel restrictions also put forth different sorts of challenges for airlines especially for those who were setting up new flight routes. They had to organize on-the-ground facilities and staff remotely. However, they hope that this is a temporary measure.


As airlines prepare flights to take off from cities in the U.S. to cities across Europe, there may be challenges ahead but the first leisure flight would indeed be an economic milestone as well as economies slowly rebuild worldwide, one flight at a time.

Photo-Patrick Feller

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