When Will Regular Travel Return, and What Will it Look Like?

May 6, 2020

As governments across the nation and around to globe begin the process of safely reopening businesses, one industry is likely to lag behind: travel. Air travel, in particular, has been hardest hit, with some estimates saying that air travel has fallen by as much as 95%.

Americans are wary of travel. A recent survey from Longwoods International, a market research firm, found that 82% of Americans have altered or canceled planned trips in the next six months.

CNBC spoke to industry experts and healthcare professionals to gauge when normal travel will return. The consensus is that it will likely be 18 to 24 months before demand spikes and the industry reaches the previous norm. These experts also noted that there will be some big changes in procedures for flying, as airlines and airports implement health checks such as mandatory temperature readings for all passengers. Some airlines are considering issuing “immunity passports” for travelers who can prove they have already been infected. Most experts agree though that even this may not be enough, and regular travel will not return until widespread testing and tracing are implemented at the governmental level. 


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