Airline Rebound : We all know how Covid-19 has affected the whole world — whether it be financial markets, which plummeted on average 25-30% during the early days of the pandemic, or the unemployment ratio, which increased drastically globally -- nearly all industries were significantly impacted. Among the hardest hit industries was the leisure and travel industry.
Due to national lockdowns and stopping inter- and intra-country travel, airlines and hotels lost a lot of revenue. Forbes reported that the 6 largest US airlines lost over $35 Billion in 2020.
However, with vaccines rolling out and economies recovering, the airline industry looks to be on its way to recovery.
Based on the data by Alexa.com, a data site run by Amazon, the United Airlines website saw a consistent increase in site popularity over the past 90 days, with the majority of the audience coming from the United States (~84%) and Japan and Mexico contributing close to 8% each.
United Airlines’ site has actually underperformed in comparison with its peers. The average search traffic on this site is 34.1% and a bounce rate is close to around 28% which is less than competitors' average of 40% and 33%.
The values are very close for other airlines as well, which suggests that, although the airline industry has bounced back during the past six months, they are still not at their full potential. This can be due to a smaller number of people flying due to fear of Covid-19 or because of rules and regulation that airlines have to follow.
But there is no denying the fact that the industry is bouncing back from its lowest point in a decade and only time will tell how fast this recovery will be.
According to CNBC, airlines are gearing up for recovery by starting to rent planes and adding additional employees for the coming months. Ankit Gupta, United Airlines vice president, stated that the spring break demand was more robust than they had expected, and summer booking is also looking up.
A CNN article’s data suggested that the airline industry is already in the recovery process and the industry may recover faster than ever. Knowing that, here are a few things United can do to attract more customers on their sites. With United primarily being used for domestic air travels in the US, they can continue to target the audience which are flying domestically in the US and should deploy more planes flying domestic rather than international.
United Airlines is betting for a rebound in 2022, and with the help of technology, are hoping to save $2 billion for this year. They are also making sure that customer service is at its best by providing them with Covid-19 testing and setting up virtual, on-demand customer service at more than 215 airports. With all this being said, only time can tell how quickly the airline industry will bounce back. With companies like United having their revenues decreased by 60% and losses mounting up to $1.9 billion, it all depends on what strategies companies use to tackle this situation, and how rapidly it answers customer demand. In the end, it will be the customer who will dictate the path to recovery.