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    國境重新開放,美國機票價格暴漲

    國境重新開放,美國機票價格暴漲

    Danielle Bernabe 2021年08月03日
    隨著變異病毒持續擴散,航空公司也很難預測趨勢。

    也許有人已經發現,雖然2020年需求幾乎降至冰點,票價低得令人難以置信,但自那之后機票價格一直在回升。隨著復蘇啟動,每天有200萬乘客接受美國運輸安全管理局(TSA)檢查,而去年約同一時間,每天接受TSA檢查的乘客僅為75萬。由于航空業反彈迅速,航空公司飛機、飛行員和機組人員復工幾乎跟不上步伐,而且成本累積的壓力也在上升。新冠疫情期間,全球航空業債務累計超過1萬億美元。咨詢公司麥肯錫(McKinsey & Co.)的行業顧問表示,多家航空公司曾借入巨額資金以維持運營,應付高昂的現金消耗。據估計,假定債務償還期限為10年的話,夏季需求強勁以及航空公司償債壓力可能導致機票價格上漲約3%。

    除了債務壓力巨大,當前原油價格約為每桶75美元,也比去年同期上漲50%。對于大型航空公司來說,燃油約占成本三分之一?!袄麧櫬试疽呀浐艿?,所以即便航空公司之前能實現盈利,油價上漲后也很難持續,當然疫情也可能導致虧損,”哥倫比亞商學院(Columbia Business School)經濟學教授杰夫?赫勒(Geoff Heal)說。由于疫情爆發,航空公司解雇了約9萬名員工,勞動力成本也有所上升。重新聘用時漲薪也會加重公司負擔。

    此外,相較2019年減少70%的商務旅行造成了巨大的收入缺口。高端商務艙票價變化不大,但購買的乘客很少,也影響了一些低價艙位?!跋胂胍咔楸l前,買機票和住酒店花錢最多的是哪些人,通常都是商務旅行者,”麥肯錫合伙人兼旅游業專家維克?克里希南(Vik Krishnan)說。他還表示,商務旅客往往會臨時買票,接近出發才下單,一般是票價最貴的時候。

    然而當前的挑戰是商務旅行恢復緩慢,大部分是休閑旅客。因此,航空公司無法獲得對行業至關重要的業務收入?!靶袠I只能依靠對價格更敏感的休閑旅行者,也就是說航空公司、酒店和行業其他參與方很難自由定價,”克里希南說。

    隨著變異病毒持續擴散,航空公司也很難預測趨勢。過去各公司使用非常復雜的需求優化和預測系統,根據歷史趨勢判斷未來的需求?!艾F實情況不出所料,新冠疫情危機把所有模型都扔出了窗外,”克里希南解釋道。因此在當前環境下,航空公司不得不想出新方式部署運力并制定價格?,F在各公司都在找旅游活躍的地方。美國就是如此,國家公園和自然風光景點比較受歡迎。

    “想去這些地方玩,就得多付些錢,”克里希南說。他補充說,各景點往返機票價格并不對稱。舉例來說,舊金山空中航線恢復情況遠比不上蒙大拿的波茲曼,一天中某些時段,想為降落的飛機安排登機口都很困難。

    很多人通??紤]去歐洲或其他地方度假,現在由于擔心德爾塔變異病毒,也轉而考慮美國國內市場。國際航空運輸協會(IATA)5月的一份報告中稱,病毒發展不可控的局面最終將限制未來的需求和整體復蘇。國內機票價格上漲,國境封閉和交通不便導致需求減少,最終拖累國際機票價格下跌。然而一份類似報告中顯示,旅行者對未來仍然樂觀且充滿渴望,只是受疫情影響變得更為謹慎。

    不管怎樣,消費者紛紛出行,也希望旅行?!案覀兘徽劦暮娇展臼紫攧展俣急硎?,看到消費者情緒沒太受影響,感覺非常興奮。換句話說,人們仍然想出行,”克里希南說?!叭欢逍训乃伎际?,疫情期間公司都背上了沉重的財務負擔,未來很多年要慢慢還債。償債可能一直持續到2030年,乃至更久?!保ㄘ敻恢形木W)

    譯者:馮豐

    審校:夏林

    也許有人已經發現,雖然2020年需求幾乎降至冰點,票價低得令人難以置信,但自那之后機票價格一直在回升。隨著復蘇啟動,每天有200萬乘客接受美國運輸安全管理局(TSA)檢查,而去年約同一時間,每天接受TSA檢查的乘客僅為75萬。由于航空業反彈迅速,航空公司飛機、飛行員和機組人員復工幾乎跟不上步伐,而且成本累積的壓力也在上升。新冠疫情期間,全球航空業債務累計超過1萬億美元。咨詢公司麥肯錫(McKinsey & Co.)的行業顧問表示,多家航空公司曾借入巨額資金以維持運營,應付高昂的現金消耗。據估計,假定債務償還期限為10年的話,夏季需求強勁以及航空公司償債壓力可能導致機票價格上漲約3%。

    除了債務壓力巨大,當前原油價格約為每桶75美元,也比去年同期上漲50%。對于大型航空公司來說,燃油約占成本三分之一?!袄麧櫬试疽呀浐艿?,所以即便航空公司之前能實現盈利,油價上漲后也很難持續,當然疫情也可能導致虧損,”哥倫比亞商學院(Columbia Business School)經濟學教授杰夫?赫勒(Geoff Heal)說。由于疫情爆發,航空公司解雇了約9萬名員工,勞動力成本也有所上升。重新聘用時漲薪也會加重公司負擔。

    此外,相較2019年減少70%的商務旅行造成了巨大的收入缺口。高端商務艙票價變化不大,但購買的乘客很少,也影響了一些低價艙位?!跋胂胍咔楸l前,買機票和住酒店花錢最多的是哪些人,通常都是商務旅行者,”麥肯錫合伙人兼旅游業專家維克?克里希南(Vik Krishnan)說。他還表示,商務旅客往往會臨時買票,接近出發才下單,一般是票價最貴的時候。

    然而當前的挑戰是商務旅行恢復緩慢,大部分是休閑旅客。因此,航空公司無法獲得對行業至關重要的業務收入?!靶袠I只能依靠對價格更敏感的休閑旅行者,也就是說航空公司、酒店和行業其他參與方很難自由定價,”克里希南說。

    隨著變異病毒持續擴散,航空公司也很難預測趨勢。過去各公司使用非常復雜的需求優化和預測系統,根據歷史趨勢判斷未來的需求?!艾F實情況不出所料,新冠疫情危機把所有模型都扔出了窗外,”克里希南解釋道。因此在當前環境下,航空公司不得不想出新方式部署運力并制定價格?,F在各公司都在找旅游活躍的地方。美國就是如此,國家公園和自然風光景點比較受歡迎。

    “想去這些地方玩,就得多付些錢,”克里希南說。他補充說,各景點往返機票價格并不對稱。舉例來說,舊金山空中航線恢復情況遠比不上蒙大拿的波茲曼,一天中某些時段,想為降落的飛機安排登機口都很困難。

    很多人通??紤]去歐洲或其他地方度假,現在由于擔心德爾塔變異病毒,也轉而考慮美國國內市場。國際航空運輸協會(IATA)5月的一份報告中稱,病毒發展不可控的局面最終將限制未來的需求和整體復蘇。國內機票價格上漲,國境封閉和交通不便導致需求減少,最終拖累國際機票價格下跌。然而一份類似報告中顯示,旅行者對未來仍然樂觀且充滿渴望,只是受疫情影響變得更為謹慎。

    不管怎樣,消費者紛紛出行,也希望旅行?!案覀兘徽劦暮娇展臼紫攧展俣急硎?,看到消費者情緒沒太受影響,感覺非常興奮。換句話說,人們仍然想出行,”克里希南說?!叭欢逍训乃伎际?,疫情期間公司都背上了沉重的財務負擔,未來很多年要慢慢還債。償債可能一直持續到2030年,乃至更久?!保ㄘ敻恢形木W)

    譯者:馮豐

    審校:夏林

    Perhaps you've noticed prices for flights have risen from 2020 when the demand was next to nothing, and fares were incredibly low. As recovery begins with two million passengers going through TSA screenings daily—compared to last year's 750,000 around the same time—the current surge is outpacing aviation's efforts to restore aircraft, pilots, and crew, and with it, the strain of accumulating costs. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline industry accrued more than $1 trillion in debt globally. Many airlines borrowed huge sums of money to stay afloat and cope with high cash burn rates, according to industry consultants at McKinsey & Co. Summer demand and recouping this debt could, according to estimates, amount to a rise in ticket prices of about 3%, assuming a ten-year repayment window for the additional debt taken on.

    Aside from the debt, crude oil is currently around $75 a barrel, a 50% increase from this time last year. For a major airline, fuel makes up about one-third of all costs. "With profit margins naturally low, that's enough to make them unprofitable, even if they were profitable before, which they probably weren't because of the pandemic," says Geoff Heal, professor of economics at Columbia Business School. Labor costs have also increased after companies laid off about 90,000 employees because of the pandemic. Rehiring at higher salaries adds to the burden.

    Additionally, the loss of business travel, which decreased around 70% from 2019, created a massive revenue gap. High-end business class fares haven't changed much, but they're also not being purchased, impacting some low-fare categories. "If we think about who historically—before COVID—paid more to fly or stay in hotels, it typically used to be business travelers," says Vik Krishnan, McKinsey partner and travel industry expert, also stating that category customers also purchase tickets at a whim and close to departure dates when fares are typically at their highest.

    The challenge is that business travel is slowly returning, whereas leisure is making up most of the current passengers. Consequently, airlines cannot capture the business revenue significant to all sectors of hospitality. "Having to rely primarily on leisure travelers who genuinely tend to be a little bit more price sensitive has meant that the airlines, hotels, and other players in the ecosystem do not have unlimited freedom to charge whatever they want," says Krishnan.

    With variants on the rise, it’s also difficult for airlines to predict trends. In the past, they used very sophisticated demand optimization and forecasting systems that use historic trends to determine what future demand might be. "The reality is that, as is no surprise, the COVID-19 crisis has taken all of those models and essentially thrown them out the window," Krishnan explains. And so, airlines have had to come up with relatively new ways of deploying capacity as well as price in this environment. Right now, they're looking at localized hotspots where travel is currently strong. This is seen domestically, specifically to national parks and nature-focused destinations.

    "You should expect to pay pretty high prices to be able to go these places," says Krishnan, adding those prices are asymmetric by destination. "For instance, air traffic recovery in San Francisco is nowhere near as robust as it's been in Bozeman, Montana, where during certain times of the day it's hard to find parking at gates to accommodate all the airplanes that want to go there."

    People who typically consider a vacation in Europe or other international locations are instead focusing on the domestic market because, in part, of the uncertainty from the Delta variant. In a May report from International Air Transport Association (IATA), the unpredictable nature of this ultimately places a restraint on future demand and overall recovery. Prices domestically are up, whereas internationally they are lower due to closed borders and less accessibility. Hence, less demand. However, in a similar report, it shows travelers remain optimistic and eager, but with caution based on COVID’s impact.

    Regardless, consumers are traveling and want to travel. "Every airline CFO we've spoken to is extremely excited by the fact that consumer sentiment hasn't depressed. In other words, people still want to travel," says Krishnan. "The more sobering reflection, however, is we have taken on a significant amount of financial burden during this pandemic that we're going to have to repay for years. Potentially well into 2030 and beyond."

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