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Qatar Airways Should Benefit from a Vaccine

The airline industry has been facing headwinds since the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. Global air travel has been depressed and has yet to significantly rebound. Airtravel in the Emirates has been worse than the average throughout the globe. The introduction of a vaccine could become a global game-changer as robust results could eradicate the virus and allow airlines to experience robust share trading.

Global Air Travel has Been Subdued

The unset of the global coronavirus pandemic has led to economic recessions around the globe. By May of 2020, global air travel declined by nearly 70%, and in the Emirates, airlines were grounded. While the average saw a drop of nearly 70%, the drop in air travel in the United Arab Emirates was nearly 80%. Air travel has been rebounding and as of November 2020, global air travel was only down 46% compared to the same period a year earlier.  This compares to air travel in the Emirates which is down 62% year over year compared to the same period in 2019.

A Vaccine Could be a Game-changer

A vaccine could be a game-changer for the airline industry allowing Qatar Airways to benefit from consumer confidence. In mid-November, both Pfizer and Moderna announced the results of their phase-3 trial for their respective coronavirus vaccines. The final results showed that both companies experienced a 95% efficacy, which would allow these vaccines to eventually eradicate the virus. These numbers put the vaccine in the same camp as the measles vaccine and the polio vaccine which eliminated these viruses in many locations around the globe.  

Could the Weather Play a Role

The winter is likely to be difficult for airlines in the northern hemisphere. The cold weather is likely to bring many individuals inside that will help the spread of the coronavirus. In the US, the spread of the virus has reached epic proportions. The 7-day moving average of the number of new infections has eclipsed 154,000 for the first time. The 7-day average of the number of deaths has also crossed above 1,100. These numbers are horrific and continue to deter individuals from flying on planes.

Increasing Its Presence

To help market its breadth in the northern hemisphere, Qatar Airways introduced a booking agreement which shows its commitment to serving Canadian travelers. This codesharing agreement will provide key benefits to Air Canada passengers as they can book travel on Qatar Airways’ services between Toronto and Doha and onwards to more than 75 destinations. The goal is to increase the choices that consumers have in North America. Qatar airline already has agreements with American Airlines and JetBlue.

Qatar airlines have been helping Canadian citizens during the pandemic. More recently, it has been working with the government of the North American nation and its embassies to repatriate over 40,000 Canadian residents amid the global health crisis.

The Bottom Line

The upshot is that a vaccine could be the key-game-changer that allows airlines to experience a return back to normal. Without a vaccine, it's unlikely that airlines will be able to survey given the steep declines in air travel across the globe. With air travel down 63% in the Emirates, it's very difficult for Qatar airlines to make money. The vaccine results reported by Pfizer and Moderna have a 95% effective rate and while it will take a while for these vaccines to be globally distributed, once they are, the virus could be eradicated.

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