Airlines were heavily dependent on essential and urgent travel needs during the first five months of 2021, when necessary business trips mostly took place and travellers had to go into ten-day quarantines upon their return. This was clearly disruptive and put many people off travelling unless absolutely essential, and leisure-related trips remain weak compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Domestic leisure travel remains a safe option for most Hungarians, instead of travelling abroad during the peak 2021 summer period. The uncertainty around vaccine passports, the different country-specific travel bans, and the uncertainty and potential last-minute changes on restrictions, all work together to make domestic holidays a more rational option.
Low-cost Wizz Air continues to lead airlines, followed by Ryanair in second place and, in fact, these two operators are the most notable in leading the category out of its recession. This is thanks to their aggressive competitive pricing and quick reactions to the easing of travel restrictions, thus enabling them to gain shares over scheduled airlines to major European destinations.
Unlike trends seen pre-pandemic, a significant number of companies are expected to cut back on business trips over the longer term, thus leisure air travel will drive recovery in the category. This change is due to the move to online platforms during the time of the pandemic, with home-working and virtual meetings/conferences, and even large professional trade shows conducted online.
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This report originates from Passport, our Airlines research and analysis database.
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