As a new year approaches, we say good bye to a hard year for the airline industry. Having to redefine itself with new fees, cut flights, and a few bankruptcies, we wonder what will 2009 bring the airline business?
Most economists think this recession will not be short-term. With people having less money, most likely that means they will have less trips and vacations. Companies will be looking at other non-flying meeting options and many government jobs have already put a freeze on non-essential travel.
Right now airlines are able to survive this recession because of the low price of oil. If airlines are able to cut costs, keep their fees, have low oil prices, and have the recession lift in 2009, it could be one of their best years. Of course, these are all a lot of “ifs” and already consumers are getting annoyed that fees are still up with oil prices down.
Another big obstacle that airlines might face are employee relations. As more and more airlines farm out their labor and force employees to re-negotiate their contracts — will more strikes loom and cause huge loses for airlines?
No matter what happens, I think the airline industry has proven itself and in one form or another it will not only survive, but thrive. We can only hope for the best!