Omicron dampens first quarter outlook for many airlines

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UAE
  • Date: 15-Jan-2022
  • Source: Gulf Times
  • Sector: Transport
  • Country: UAE
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Omicron dampens first quarter outlook for many airlines

Before the Omicron variant of coronavirus burst onto the scene in November, retired Australian Glenn Turnley was looking forward to a three-week trip to Japan, Britain and France in March — his first overseas jaunt since the pandemic began. Even though he is fully vaccinated and boosted, Turnley says the high transmissibility of Omicron means he is likely to cancel — even if Japan opens its borders to foreigners. While the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 infection is potentially less severe, for many airlines it is proving as disruptive as the Delta variant and has dampened the first quarter outlook. Its high transmissibility has led to tighter border rules in many countries and heightened the risk of even fully vaccinated travellers testing positive after they arrive and then being stranded at the destination for weeks, denting confidence. “Clearly there are uncertainties so if you catch Covid you may get stuck in a country which is quite unpredictable to you,” said Jozsef Varadi, chief executive of European low-cost airline Wizz Air, which also operates in Abu Dhabi. “So I don’t think that demand is fully back but we are certainly seeing some people who might be prepared to take more risk…

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