Covid-19 Crisis: First Class Isn’t Dead YetAviation Business Middle East

Linus Benjamin Bauer

The current COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves through the entire aviation industry including the airlines with First Class offerings.

It’s also not clear to what extent the premium market (First and Business Class combined), which generated 30% of airlines’ international revenues in 2019, can recover. For many airlines across the globe, business travel has not yet returned in any meaningful way.

Some overseas routes have resumed, but traffic worldwide has barely started to creep back. According to IATA, International passenger demand was down 92% in July. The overall average load factors on the international long-haul flights were between 40-50% to date.

Travelling as a First Class passenger during the pandemic isn’t what it used to be. Airlines’ and airports’ efforts to minimise human interaction and reduce the risk of infection are taking the shine off the most expensive seats onboard commercial aircraft like the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER.

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