of course they are! i'm not booking anything for 2 reasons 1) if the virus will spread in Europe i'm not going anywhere, need funds to stockpile foods and medicines and other survival items. 2) If Europe won't be affected i'd wait for very large discounts since less people would travel due to the economical recession looming (china is off line and not producing anything for a while), since people cannot travel going to be unemployed while still have to pay loans and leasings. 2b) EU airlines could reduce traffic because of that since less passengers will be travelling therefore it's completely pointless to book right now..
I wonder how the yield management strategy will play out. Less demand normally translates into lower yields, but depending on how bad it gets, airlines may raise fares to milk those passengers who have sufficient incentive to fly despite a risk to their health (if any).
In China, this is what's happening for now, capacity is down and fares seem to be up, not down.
Will airlines maintain frequencies with smaller and smaller aircraft or park and store their high lease cost aircraft (B787/A350/B777/A320neo), suspend lease payments and consolidate flights onto lower capital cost aircraft? It makes sense to operate fuel guzzlers (low oil prices) and maintenance intensive aircraft now (to keep the MX staff busy), and spare the newer aircraft until things start getting better.
Going back to my original question - are intra-EU and NA-EU flights currently showing a noticeable decline from last year?
If so, I'm ready for 2021 already
BTW - regarding the fleet impact, this is why I say watch the Big 2 Japanese 767 fleets. Both are fleets are young (most built 2000-2013), but the 1982 EIS means they will be retired before any 30 year old A320's or 23 year old 777's. What a waste... I hope that doctor who tried to raise the alarm will at least be Time's Man of the Year.
My former colleagues are saying that the "business on the books" is already showing a decline for the summer according to some managers.
It's not clear how much of it is from declining bookings intra-EU and how much from loss of business EU-Asia, but it seems to go beyond just pax connecting on Asian flights.
We have to remember that European airlines als act as codeshare partners for many Asian airlines, so many seats are occupied with connecting passengers.
Unfortunately, I can't post actual numbers as it's confidential, plus only management staff are supposed to have access to it so I can't verify them myself.
It looks like managements are preparing the unions for a temporary downsizing.
I'm myself holding off booking a TATL itinerary for May/June.
In 3-4 months, a lot can happen.