TUI expects cruising to be back to pre-coronavirus levels within a year

According to TUI Cruises, the demand for cruises will be back to normal – pre-coronavirus – levels within a year, The Telegraph has reported.

TUI, one of the world’s leading travel companies and the parent of UK and Ireland brand Marella Cruises, said that about half of passengers whose cruises have been cancelled have already rebooked.

TUI, which has invested heavily in cruises in recent years, was forced to cancel and delay itineraries due to the risks from the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Marella Cruises has already suspended cruise ship holidays until the June-end and will retire Marella Celebration earlier than planned.

TUI chief Wybcke Meier reportedly told The Telegraph that even as dozens of cruises had to be cancelled, she was positive that the business would bounce back quickly.

‘We are convinced that in the long-term the demand for premium and luxury cruises will not change,’ Meir said. ‘We will see the demand for cruises return to pre-crisis level within 12 to 18 months.’

Earlier, Which? alleged that the UK’s leading travel companies, including TUI, were failing in their legal duty to issue refunds on trips impacted by coronavirus within 14 days. Major travel companies and airlines were withholding up to £7billion worth of cash refunds on cancelled holidays, the consumer group said.

‘The Government must urgently set out how it will support travel firms and airlines to ensure they can meet their legal obligations to refund customers for cancelled travel plans – and avoid permanent damage to trust and confidence in the travel industry,’ Which? Travel Editor Rory Boland said.

Boeing predicts increased global demand for airline pilots

Over the next two decades, the commercial aviation industry will need more than one million new pilots and technicians to support the growing demand for new airplane deliveries, Boeing has forecasted.

According to the US multinational aerospace company, by 2032 the world will require 498,000 new commercial airline pilots and as many as 556,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians. The forecast is part of Boeing’s 2013 Pilot and Technician Outlook, an industry forecast of aviation personnel that was released during an event at the Boeing Flight Services campus in Miami.

The 2013 outlook forecasts major increases in pilot demand, in all regions except Europe, compared to previous forecasts. The projection for Europe declined slightly over last year’s outlook.

‘The urgent demand for competent aviation personnel is a global issue that is here now and is very real,’ said Sherry Carbary, vice president of Boeing Flight Services. ‘The key to closing the pilot and technician gap in our industry is enhancing our training with the latest, cutting-edge technologies to attract and retain young people interested in careers in aviation.’

The rising pilot demand is driven by increasing airplane deliveries, particularly single-aisle airplanes, and represents a global requirement for about 25,000 new pilots annually. Global demand for technicians also remains significant, at approximately 28,000 new technicians required annually.

However, with the advent of more efficient and smarter airplanes, the requirement for mechanics is expected to reduce over time, as aging aircraft, which normally require more maintenance, are retired from service. The new and emerging airplane technologies with more advanced components are also likely to lead to lower maintenance requirements and corresponding lower technician demand.

‘This is a global issue that can only be addressed by industry-wide innovation and solutions,’ said Carbary, adding: ‘We need to attract more young people to careers in aviation by continually looking at innovative ways to train pilots and technicians, moving away from paper and chalkboard-based learning to incorporate tablets, eBooks, gaming technology and three-dimensional models.

‘Aviation is a great field to be in – we have a responsibility to make sure it’s a viable career option for the world’s youth,’ she added.