Sure the argument can be made that the airliners also fit into the business world, not just as a part of it, but as the vehicle to take business people to other cities, and countries, making it possible for businesses to grow, and keep us as a global market.
However, if you look at the numbers, it is tourism that has truly benefited from the airline industry.
Some people like to travel, and there are those that don’t care for travelling. My friend is one of those that doesn’t care for travelling and seeing far off destinations or new things. They prefer their home town, and feel they can do everything they need to from there.
One comment they make is the whole process of flying is a “hurry up and wait” procedure.
You need to be at the airport two or three hours before your flight, so you race to get there knowing you will be sitting for a couple of hours, or worse yet, standing waiting in security queues.
Then they dislike all the security measures which are required now. They agree and understand why, but my friend feels like they are practically disrobing when they go through security.
Myself, I love travelling, and even though I am a bit of a nervous flier, it doesn’t stop me.
I enjoy the entire experience.
The excitement of waiting at the airport, watching all the people, seeing the planes take off and land, I even like looking at the various types of bags and luggage people use.
UK aviation not only contributes over £50 billion to the economy, of which almost £9 billion is in taxes, it employs almost a million people.
The Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association, Darren Caplan stated, “These figures underline once more just how important a growing aviation sector is to the performance of the UK economy. Our sector is a significant asset to UK plc, whether you measure the contribution in terms of GDP, jobs or overall tax-take. Add to that the part that it plays in helping other sections of the economy to grow and in connecting UK companies to new and exciting markets at home and overseas and it is easy to see that aviation is a major force for good that can be relied on to play a growing role in the economic recovery.”
The Chief Executive of the British Air Transport Association, Nathan Stower commented, “The UK is lucky to have such a competitive, dynamic and vibrant airline sector – offering choice and value to the travelling public and businesses alike. This report clearly illustrates the importance of the UK airline industry and the crucial role it plays in supporting economic growth and jobs, delivering mail and goods, linking friends and families around the world and allowing people to take holidays.”
Now let’s just go back and review my comment on looking at people’s luggage. In 2014 280,000 people spent on average a £100 on luggage.
That alone is £28 million pounds!
The ripple effect from the airlines is amazing.
Money Spent In Airports
Since we need to be at the airports now a couple of hours or more for our flights, what do we do while we wait…we send money. Almost £3 billion pounds.
If you have ever bought a glass of wine at an airport you can see why.
Then there is Duty Free, souvenirs, food, if you forgot something and need to buy it at the airport, it all adds up.
Airports are big business.
Asda Money’s Kirsty Ward stated, “Mums and Dads need to make sure they are budgeting way ahead of their trip and to not over spend before and during as they could come back to a financial mess.”
As I mentioned tourism is a huge industry as well, and as a city or country, you can have the most beautiful beaches, the best food, great entertainment, you can have it all, but if no one can get to you, then you have nothing.
The low budget airlines have really filled a void. There were many cities that while worth visiting, you had to struggle to get to them.
One thing you need to keep in mind when booking a flight, is that while the airline may say they fly to Milan, they are actually fling to an airport outside the city, sometimes an hour a way, so you will need a transfer.
Ryanair flies to Bergamo, Italy when advertising Milan, as it is in the nearby area.
If you look at one budget airline such as Easyjet, which flies into Iceland’s Keflavik Airport, which is outside the capitol of Iceland, Reykjavik, by bringing passengers to this airport, it has built up just the airport, but the city itself.
The population of the town has grown by almost 5,000 in the past 15 years.
The owner of the Hotel Keflavik has said, “When we opened the hotel in 1986, there was nothing in Keflavik at all, so we were considered a little bit strange to do that,”
“We had no Blue Lagoon, no museums, nothing that we have now. Everything has changed. It is completely different.”
This is due to the airlines bringing tourists there.
He adds, “What budget airlines and Easyjet in particular have added is winter tourism, especially from the UK. While there are 10,000 Brits here in July, there are 20,000 in November. This is a seismic change.”
Of course the opposite can be said as well.
If an airline decides to stop using an airport, or changes to a different airport, that airport and city or town can and will feel the effects.
Girona, Spain was one such airport and city.
When Ryanair decided to fly to Barcelona instead of Girona, it made a huge difference in the city.
The Director of an English language academy in Girona, Mireya Renjifo said, “People who needed to go to Barcelona or to the Costa Brava found it was more comfortable and cheaper to fly in to Girona.”
“We used to take students to England for the summer.”
“It used to be extremely easy for us because from we could fly direct from Girona. But now, having to go to Barcelona with a big group of children is much more complicated.”
Having the airlines bring tourists and holiday makers to your country and city as we know is big business, and if the airlines stop, it can be a disaster.
With recent events in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, the beaches are now empty, and the airlines are no longer flying into the airport, but struggling to get people out.
Business owners are worried, and rightly so.
Amr Darwish who owns a beach club has stated, “On a normal basis we would be 90% full right now, everyone would be working and everyone would be happy.”
“We don’t know when the tourists are going to be able to come back. You can’t make a business plan for next week, let alone next month or next year.”
Egypt has had its struggles in recent years with bombings, political issues and even shark attacks. This latest disaster has not helped.
Some estimate Egypt could lose 70% of its tourism due to the recent events.
Tourism makes up over 11% of Egypt’s GDP. The Minister of Tourism, Mohamed Yousef said, “Their leaving is a severe blow for the industry.”
“The loss will be 70% of the tourist influx.”
It is also estimated that the country will lose $280 million each month until flights resume.
These losses also spill over to the tour operators who plan the trips, and it will not help the airlines themselves.
Overall, it is a huge loss.
With more and more attacks and countries being a “no-go” zone for tourists, it has a huge impact on the economies of those areas. Which once again shows the strength the airlines and tourism combined has financially for the economy.
,If there are two things that go hand-in-hand, it would be the airline industry, and tourism. Sure the argument can be made that the airliners also fit into the business world, not just as a part of
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