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Travel industry recovery, the insights from a scale-up.

November 24, 2020

November’s OAG Frequency and Capacity Statistics Report caused something of a stir with a subsequent article in the Business Travel News on 16th November, referring to “the most dismal ever figures regarding the air transport business”. In this Article, Roy Hughes, CCO of Get-e, will answer 2 very relevant questions. First question, Which recovery trends and opportunities do we currently see in the travel industry? Second question, What should be prioritised for the travel industry to take advantage of any recovery?

Which recovery trends and opportunities do we currently see?

In amongst the general desolation of the OAG report, are green shoots that we can identify within the different regions.

South America

Upper South America – Colombia, Peru, Ecuador – has been cautiously re-opening, delivering an increase in demand. Get-e has a significant client in this region. Our Spanish-speaking operational and network support teams have been on-hand to reassure travelling customers and ensure supplier-readiness. Live vehicle tracking and monitoring of all transfers, provides the additional duty of care and reassurance in a region where civil disturbances and curfews have been commonplace in recent months. 

North America

North America is also highlighted as an area of optimism, with carriers increasing capacity by 3.9% in November.

From our discussions with existing and prospective clients in this region, it has become apparent that the economic consequences of the pandemic have created gaps in airline supply chains. In some areas, local transport operators have been unable to survive the downturn. Get-e has been on hand to plug this gap for airline crew transfers in various locations across the US, utilising our global network of reliable and secure transport partners. Indeed, one of the key advantages of sourcing via Get-e is the replacement of suppliers without the need to re-contract new suppliers each time.

Asia

There are also signs of renewed activity, particularly in South East Asia, with travel corridors and COVID testing protocols in place between countries. A large Medical Assistance client, which postponed Get-e implementation in March, is planning to roll-out Get-e as their transport partner across the entire region from next month. A key requirement for our Medical Assistance clients is that specialised customer service support is available 24/7. Get-e’s multi-lingual, support teams are highly experienced in delivering this type of customer care.

Europe

Europe is more challenging with extended lockdowns in place across most of the continent. Airlines and travel companies are under extreme pressure to reduce costs and increase efficiency. However, discussions with existing and prospective airline clients in this area have been illuminating. The interest has been in Get-e adapting its technology to provide solutions for streamlining processes and reducing administrative time and costs across a range of transport activities. Watch this space for future developments!

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What should be prioritised for the travel industry to take advantage of any recovery?

1.    Establish and implement COVID-secure travel protocols

Increasing safety and security for clients travelling during a pandemic is the obvious priority. Establishing and implementing COVID-secure travel protocols is an absolute necessity to provide reassurance for travellers. The WTTC has led the way in establishing #SafeTravels protocols across a range of travel activities. For our part, Get-e has acquired the WTTC’s stamp, ensuring COVID-safe processes are in place across our transport partner network.

2.    Stay up to date with global travel restrictions

Keeping travellers updated with information regarding global travel restrictions, quarantine requirements and local health and safety advice is also essential. At Get-e we have provided our 24/7 Operational teams with dynamic data sourced from online available data and crucially, from our local suppliers. This enables our teams to support clients with all available information and to advise the best options. This has resulted in some interesting and creative cross-border transfers!

3.    The roll out of an effective vaccine

From our corner of the industry, any lifting of quarantine travel restrictions will bring increased demand for transfers. However widespread adoption of pre-travel testing will be key. In this context, it is encouraging to see Lufthansa and United Airlines starting to operate ‘Covid-free’ flights. The game-changer, of course, will be the roll-out of an effective vaccine with some type of digital ‘Health Passport’ for the traveller.

4.    Innovate to get ahead during the recovery

Once the game does change, connecting with reliable, safe, efficient and technologically innovative supply chain partners will be part of the solution to a fully formed recovery for airlines, TMC’s and Corporates alike. The green wheels of recovery are starting to move!

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