The losses will be millions, both in Argentina and in the rest of the world. Not only because there are no flights, but also because of tourism.
Airlines are going through one of the most difficult times in recent years. With the aero-commercial flight service stopped due to the pandemic that threatens the world, there are no predictions of when it will work again and how it will get out of the crisis.
In the case of companies “low cost”, not long ago they began operating in Argentina, and, against all odds, they achieved rapid growth.
Now, that accumulated flow in trust and clients has been numb, and currently there are only doubts.
In this context, Esteban Tossutti, president of Flybondi, one of the newest companies operating in the local market, answered three key questions about the sector, the company, and future forecasts.
– iP: What effects in the short and medium term will this pandemic have on your company?
– ET: In the short term, we have had a very large effect, which is having stopped flying (with the exception of a few repatriation flights that we were able to carry out) and a drop in sales of 70% for the next two months.
The important thing is that we make quick decisions that allow us to take care of the sustainability of the company and the source of work of our 570 employees. That is why we decided to suspend the entire operation of flights until the end of April, which I do not rule out that it lengthens a little due to the recent extension of the quarantine.
The restart of flights is highly subject to sanitary measures. And to this we add a huge collaborative effort made by the entire company to be able to adjust salaries in the coming months. All executives will charge 50% less.
In the medium term we will have to face possibly the gradual restart of activities and accommodate ourselves both organizationally and commercially.
– iP: How do you think it will affect the branch of activity in which your company operates?
– ET: Today the airline industry is one of the most affected worldwide.
Million-dollar losses are expected, only in Argentina more than 2.4 billion dollars, and very complex scenarios for airlines. Not only because air operations are restricted, to a lesser or greater extent, in all countries, but also all activities associated with tourism, family visits and corporate.
In this sense, Flybondi is more agile to “fly over” this context because it has a small structure and a business model that bases all its processes on maximum efficiency. And also, possibly, after this crisis, we have a big change in consumer habits and customers are more careful with their expenses, that’s why the products and low cost services they may have a faster reactivation.
– iP: How do you see the actions of the Government so far and what would you recommend / ask the officials?
– ET: I am seeing a fast action, bold in some measures and cautious in others, which I think has been giving a good result with respect to fighting the spread of COVID.
The awareness that all the actors in society have been able to achieve is very important: we have to take care of ourselves. What we cannot stop looking at who we are at the head of an organization, is the responsibility to keep active the economic circuits that will also be necessary to alleviate the crisis.
This pandemic has several cycles ahead, it begins with health but continues with its consequences in work, income and the social climate. In the specific case of our industry, all the country’s airlines are asking the government for a series of measures that really cannot be postponed, nothing is more onerous than having 100% of the planes on the ground.
Our airline is young, only two years old, and we need to keep all the sources of work for when we can fly again, which we hope will be soon. We cannot do without any of our employees.
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