Qatar Stopover takeover skin safe left
Qatar Stopover takeover skin safe right
Home Travel Industry News

Silver Lining: Airlines Are Ditching The Loathed Middle Seat

Social distancing has been tough for many of us, but if you're flying in the near future, it may have a silver lining: no more dreaded middle seat!

Social distancing has been tough for many of us, but if you’re flying in the near future, it may have a silver lining: no more dreaded middle seat!

With less people flying due to the pandemic, coupled with the need for social distancing, the natural solution for many airlines around the world is the ditch the middle seat.

Qantas, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Delta, Alaska and Spirit Airlines are among those which support the move to say sayonara to everyone’s least favourite seat – for the next few months at least.

karryon-qantas-a380-upgrade-premium-economy

In fact, most airlines that are still running flights are putting out statements confirming that passengers will be spaced apart where possible.

CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) raised an interesting point though: can airlines financially survive this no middle seat policy?

It presents “an immensely difficult business challenge,” he said.

“It would mean entirely new business models.”

“Short-haul flights and low-cost carriers depend on volume. Short haul generally needs about an 80% load factor to break even. If that is literally impossible to achieve then the consequences are enormous”.

IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac

“Of course, one way out is for any measure to be temporary. Some or all these factors may not be permanent,” he said.

“It could be that within a year or two, we will get back to “normal.” But we can’t assume that. We will need some clarity on the duration of measures to make the right decisions”.