London City Airport has seen a downturn in passengers in recent days due to corona virus which only looks set to increase with today’s collapse of Flybe.
The airport is currently undergoing a large program to increase passenger numbers from 4.5 million to 6.5 million.
In the short term numbers will inevitably fall. Business travel was in freefall even before today’s collapse. Airlines like Lufthansa had announced the grounding of 150 planes.
What will be interesting is long term impacts from corona virus. Will many businesses realise they do not need so many overseas meetings with remote conferencing?
With airlines heavily reliant on business travel for profitability, a fall in that category of passenger hampers long-term income. They could try to make that back from leisure passengers but how many can afford a sizeable increase in fares?
Of course it could all be a short term blip, but we have seen short term emergencies lead to long term changes. One to watch.