Travel restrictions will continue to be managed country by country and carriers must deal with it, the head of Wizz Air has warned.
Wizz Air chief executive Joszef Varadi described the changing restrictions across Europe as a “roller coaster” and warned of social unrest, saying “it is not sustainable”.
Speaking as Wizz reported a €115 million loss for the last three months of 2020, Varadi said: “We operate in 47 countries and not even two operate the same restrictions.
“We operate in 47 different countries with 47 different issues and 47 different paths forward. That is one of the failures of the management of the pandemic.
“It has been managed country by country and I don’t see that changing. It’s a roller coaster, but we’re dealing with it.”
He noted: “The UK is doing quite well in relation to the rest of Europe.”
However, Varadi argued: “The current level of restrictions is not sustainable. It will create social unrest. It has to be more balanced. You see already people rioting.”
The Netherlands saw at least three nights of rioting against lockdown measures in several cities this week.”
Varadi suggested: “Some governments may get to this concept of achieving herd immunity in the next months. We think we will see an easing of restrictions a few months from now.
“We would expect a significantly better operating environment by summer. Maybe we will see a start in spring. But I don’t know. There are uncertainties.
He added: “Maybe testing, maybe some proof of vaccination [will help]. But this won’t be over in a day. It will be a long process.”
Varadi suggested: “It is quite likely the world must get used to preparing for pandemics in a better way.”
Yet he insisted: “The world overcame the 2001 terrorism and got used to security restrictions, and we will overcome this as well.”
He argued: “From an operating perspective, the ramp up can be very quick. [But] a recovery depends on the restrictions.”
“Prior to the latest restrictions, we were very encouraged [by] strong bookings for summer. Now we are into a new wave of restrictions, bookings are down.
“[But] consumers are adjusting to the new circumstances like airlines are adjusting. They are prepared to make much shorter term decisions. We see 50% of bookings in the last two weeks [before flying].”
This is a community-moderated forum.
All post are the individual views of the respective commenter and are not the expressed views of Travel Weekly.
By posting your comments you agree to accept our Terms & Conditions.