United Airlines president: People need ‘freedom to travel’ before demand can return

    United Airlines president Scott Kirby said there will need to be “broader confidence across the whole range of society before demand can return to normal” (Seeking Alpha, 01-May-2020). “Disneyland needs to be opened…cafes and museums in Paris need to be open…conventions need to be open and running”, he stated. Mr Kirby noted airlines are “already taking the lead” on safety and will “get this part right”, but noted the “real issue for us about demand, however, is going to be that people feel safe and have some freedom to travel”. Mr Kirby said United Airlines and the airline industry “is going to look different” once it “emerge[s]” from coronavirus. He noted “how the airline works in terms of efficiency” is “going to really change”, “and we’re going to engineer costs permanently out of the system”. Mr Kirby warned “everything is on the table” as regards to how the airline will operate in the future, such as route networks and premium travel, adding: “There are no sacred cows”.