Shock waves from the sickening terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre, New York and the Pentagon in Washington, are spreading throughout the travel industry, creating a maelstrom of confusion among professionals and travellers alike.
Update on Conferences
In view of the attacks, the program for day 2 of the Eyefor Travel U.S.A. East Event in New Orleans was CANCELLED
(If anyone needs to be contacted who should have attended the conferences in the USA, call this number: +44 207 375 7500)
The PCIA GlobalXChange 2001 conference in Los Angeles was also CANCELLED.
The Networld+Interop event in Atlanta proceded. The turn out was already depleted due to the current economic downturn. Following the horrific attack, the show closed midafternoon Tuesday. On re-opening, Wednesday, many attendees had gone home. Those remaining made the best of it, alternating between the patter of commerce and talk about the mind numbing mass murder.
Fred Rosen, chief executive of Los Angeles-based key3media Group, which owns the event stated empathetically: “In the end, this is just a trade show about chasing business. In normal times, if attendance is light, people feel angry. In times like these, you look at it with a different eye and realise how lucky you are”.
Airlines are seeing record losses.
The World`s airline industry warned Thursday that it faces “record losses” in 2001 following this week`s devistating terrorist attacks.
For the first time in history, air traffic accross America has come to a hault. Airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, and travel agents are facing scheduling problems of an unprecedented scope.
Fear causes cancellations
Numerous travellers have been cancelling trips as a result of fear evoked from seeing hijacked airplanes propelled like missiles into high-profile buildings.
On Wednesday, an online poll of travel agents at Travel Weekly`s Web site showed that 58% had received a great number of cancellations than bookings. Ed Kopec who runs the call center for travel Website Lodging.com said: “We`re doing more cancellations and modifications than bookings”.
It is not yet known whether travellers will be receiving refunds for these cancellations. Companies may have to consider requests on a case by case basis.
Additional security measures cause havoc for airlines
The additional security measures that have been put into effect in the U.S. are causing severe delays to travellers. Only airports complying with new security measures will be allowed to re-open.
To find out the status of major U.S. airports, go to
The International Air Transport Association estimated immediate revenue losses for the industry at $10 billion, underscoring the increasingly gloomy forecast for airlines, many of which already had suffered from a downturn in travel this year.
U.S airlines were racing to minimise the financial damage by running again A.S.A.P., but analysts said that several could go under because of lost business. U.S carrier Midway Airlines has given up the struggle already and went out of business on Wednesday.
Aside from the immediate security measures,
top U.S. officials say that passengers will see signs of tighter security in airports. Federal Aviation Administration warn that passengers must now expect check-in process to take longer. To examine types of security measures being implemented, see www.hotel-online.com
Trading remains suspended in the U.S., but airline shares have slumped elsewhere. Investment analysts at Schroders Salomon Smith Barney downgraded shares accross the entire European aviation industry and said the attacks are “likely to have a catastrophic effect on European airline profitability.” IATA spokesman William Gaillard said “A week ago we were talking about losses of about $2.8 billion on international scheduled traffic. There is no doubt going to be more”
-Shares of British airways (BAB Research) slid 5.2% Thursday, reaching a 10 year low of 197-1/2pence.
-In Asia, Singapore Airlines lost 3.5% to S$9.65 and Japan Airlines (JAPNY: Research) 2% to Y304
For current updates on the situation, see: