The travel industry is on the way back up, despite recent high-profile business failures trapping holidaymakers abroad, a senoir aviation and travel experts has said.
Dr Pat Hanlon, of the Birmingham Business School, said the collapses of budget airline Kiss Flights and Birmingham-based Sun4u in the last week were part of the last gasp of the chaos that has engulfed the industry over the past few years.
And he said that when next year’s holiday season started to get into gear, it could be the start of the return to pre-recession levels for the surviving companies.
Dr Hanlon said: “The received wisdom is that there don’t seem to be other firms in such difficulty as the ones that have collapsed in the last few weeks.
“I could see it happening for a few small companies but I think the worst is probably over for most.
“In the broader sense there has been something of the green shoots of recovery for the sector, because the premium traffic has shown a revival in the last month. The premium traffic is proportionately more important to airlines, so that’s very significant news for them.
“We are getting to the end of the season now anyway, and unless there is going to be a double-dip global recession, I would say that you will notice quite a big rebound in traffic next year – I think the travel industry and the carriers associated with it will be doing quite nicely.”
The global travel industry has been stricken by the recession, as consumers dropped holiday plans in the face of worries about their income. Earlier this year, the European travel business took a further knock when the Icelandic volcano explosion closed down airspace over the continent for weeks.
The trouble in the sector led to a high number of business failures, with smaller travel operators particularly at risk.
In 2008 a host of budget airlines – including the likes of Zoom, Eos, MAXjet and Silverjet – all went out of business, kicking off two years of trouble for the industry.
And the business failures have continued this year. On August 13, Birmingham-based Sun4u left about 1,200 people stranded abroad when it collapsed unexpectedly. Just days later, operator Kiss Flights collapsed, although the thousands of people who had been taken to Greece, Egypt, Turkey and the Canary Islands by Kiss were told they would be provided with alternative travel home.