Lack of Regional Air Routes to Bolster Vehicle Sales

More and more airlines are cutting flights and with a predicted 3 year recovery automakers and dealers will get back on their feet before air carriers do

empty airport gates

The coronavirus pandemic has dropped air passenger numbers into the abysmal zone.  Most airports are currently reporting 1% of their usual passenger traffic.  With flights continually being cancelled and routes dropped there will eventually be a void to be filled as countries continue to open up.  In combination with stigma around public transportation, private vehicles will be viewed as a safeguard against virus exposure. 

What are regional airlines?

These are generally smaller airlines or divisions of larger airlines that are branded under a new name.  Regional routes don’t see the same passenger numbers as national routes and are therefore more at risk to any fluctuations.  Regional airlines have smaller operating budgets but also bring in less revenue, when these numbers are cut to zero it makes sense for the airline to cease operations.  Regional airlines are vital to economic survival and transporting workers though this will be left to major airline hubs to make up the slack. 

What are major airline hubs?

Major airline hubs are large airports, capable of handling massive numbers of passengers.  They are those that offer long haul international travel and national/regional routes.  These hubs usually offer more amenities to passengers and often have parts under renovation to make the secured area more comfortable.  Examples of these hubs are: Toronto Pearson International, JFK International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, SEATAC, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Houston International Airport and so on.

How will the impact of COVID-19 influence vehicle sales?

Workers and eventually tourists will still need to travel and as economies slowly continue to open (or go back into lockdown and re-open).  With limited or no flight options available this will leave room for growth in vehicle travel.  Not only will vehicle sales soar (they are already improving), vehicle public transportation will also see an uptick in ridership.  Vehicle transport will re-emerge at the regional level to make up for lost air transport options.  Our past article outlined how coronavirus may impact electric vehicle sales due to low gas prices.

 

Vehicle dealers have suffered through the COVID-19 shutdown and are offering many incentives to purchase.  Moreover, buyers can shop online with touchless delivery.  Automakers are unleashing marketing campaigns that stress sanitation for both purchasing and service departments in an attempt to drive sales. 

Is now a good time to buy a vehicle?

This question depends entirely on your usage and need for a vehicle, if you don’t use public transportation often it may make more sense to wait until cooler months to contemplate purchase.  As such there will be a surge in vehicle sales in September though this is typically in line with annual patterns.  A savvy buyer may start to look seriously in August if they plan on buying a vehicle to have a larger inventory to select from.   If you are looking for vehicle purchasing tips we have written an article on question to ask when purchasing a vehicle for both private and dealer based sales.

Will regional airlines thrive in the future?

There will be economic recovery and regional flights will be picked back up, when this happens is up for debate.  We can say with certainty that many will be left to find alternative transport options to air travel as the pandemic ends.  This is if airlines don’t completely restructure and no longer offer regional routes.  Perhaps the cutting of routes has been politicized in a cry for government bailout by the airlines.  If used as a bargaining chip to prevent economic recovery, a dangerous power struggle between airlines and governments could erupt.

 

With regional air routes being slashed or suspended and public transit quickly becoming stigmatized in the pandemic era, vehicle sales to increase.

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