Our business review of 2019 - the year in travel

Our review of the main insolvency, business and finance trends and stories that shaped 2019.


2019 in travel

Thomas Cook

 

 

 

 

 

 

The aviation industry is still flying in 2019 – or at least most of it is.

 

The travel industry saw one of its biggest casualties earlier this year when Thomas Cook,the world’s oldest travel agency, went into liquidation back in September, after nearly 200 years in continuous operation. 

 

This left 21,000 worldwide employees without jobs and 600,000 customers left abroad, triggering the UK’S largest peacetime repatriation.

 

The last five years have been the most persistently profitable and financially successful on record for the world’s commercial airlines. In 2019 they earned over £121 billion in combined profit.

 

90% of British travelers who flew went abroad this year compared to the 60% who went in 2018. Yet despite this encouraging marketplace, low cost, low frills airlines such as Easyjet and Ryanair became too much for Thomas Cook as they began to colonise the online package holiday market.

 

They weren’t alone. Wowair, the low cost Icelandic carrier, ceased all services in March, stranding passengers on both sides of the Atlantic although Skuli Mogensen, director of the company, announced that he is planning to resurrect the airline.

 

2019 also saw the last flights of a number of other high-profile names including:

 

  • California Pacific
  • Insel Air
  • Germania
  • Flybmi/British Midland Regional
  • Asian Express Airline
  • Aerolíneas de Antioquía
  • Fly Jamaica Airways
  • Air Philip
  • Jet Airways
  • Avianca Brasil
  • Avianca Argentina
  • Al Naser Wings Airlines
  • New Gen Airways

 

Several British customers delayed their travel plans during the summer of 2019 over Brexit uncertainty and the adverse impact it may have had on their holiday due to travel rules and agreements changing, 66% of under 35’s anticipated that Brexit would impact their holidays, whenever it happens. 

 

There shouldn’t be cause for great alarm however, as the European Commission has already stated that planes taking off from the UK will still be allowed to fly over EU territory even in a no-deal scenario so this aspect of a trip should be uninterrupted. 

 

If you’re worried about whether your holiday or business trips could be ruined by shenanigans then there’s a card you can always keep up your sleeve. 

 

SAFI – Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance – is the insurance policy you hope you’ll never need but will be glad you have. 

 

Not all travel insurance policies include cover for your flights and if the airline you are travelling with goes into administration before you fly, you may get left stranded and all future flights by that airline will be cancelled. 

 

However, If your travel insurance includes SAFI, then the good news is that you’ll be covered for the costs of replacement flights. 

 

Check your policy to see if it’s included but If you’re not sure – ask your provider. 

 

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