TourMaG.com – What is the situation at the start of 2022? Fabrice Dariot: Order books are shrinking. We try to surf the destinations that escape the doldrums and position ourselves on them. Today, it’s complicated to get people to leave, but also to make sure they don’t cancel.
I do not give up. For two years, we have been used to working like this, while hoping that this wave will be the last.
TourMaG.com – At what levels is the activity established? Fabrice Dariot: They are relatively modest. We work quite a bit on overseas destinations, resilient territories, Africa and even North America. There are also some festive destinations that are doing well, such as Dubai or Mexico, the rest are at a standstill.
The weakening is general, especially since we mainly have solo travelers, but no longer any large families.
Currently no one is going to take the risk of taking tickets for 5 or 6 people, when the incidence rate is so high and therefore you have every chance of not being able to leave.
Ticket sales: “To return to 2019 levels, it may be necessary to wait years
TourMaG.com – Like physical travel agencies, is January usually a good month? Fabrice Dariot: There is a shortfall. January is usually a good month for order intake, both for the months to come and for long-haul summer trips. We mostly see the beautiful files in January, except this year they are not there.
TourMaG.com – Is it worrying? Fabrice Dariot: I do not think so. What is true for leisure, is also true for the incentive or the MICE, as soon as the health situation is calmer, we observe a surge of travelers.
The desire to travel has not disappeared.
After the question is: are we going to catch up in February what we did not achieve in January? We hope.
TourMaG.com – Catching up is possible in your opinion? Fabrice Dariot: It will be partial. Some people will be discouraged, others will postpone and still some will use this sum for something else.
On the other hand, to find the levels of 2019, it will perhaps be necessary to wait years. Companies have disappeared, habits have also changed or been replaced, then you add the rejection of part of the population for air travel.
Air: “We still have a multitude of cases awaiting reimbursement”
TourMaG.com – Have airlines become more virtuous? Fabrice Dariot: Not all, unfortunately, with companies that still do not reimburse. As much as you have carriers who know they haven’t behaved and make amends, even with new partnerships. At the same time, you have others, where you no longer have any sound, any more image and others which leave it lying around.
We still have a plethora of cases awaiting reimbursement, such as Thai Airways, TAP Air Portugal, Air Europa, Air Algérie and Cabo Verde.
To this must be added, companies in bankruptcy or under protection, therefore with frozen sums, as is the case with Garuda, Norwegian, Air Namibia, Czech Airlines and Alitalia.
TourMaG.com – How do you anticipate the future of Flight Exchange ? Fabrice Dariot: Like the entire profession, the crisis has led to the contraction of debts, with PGEs in particular. It would be interesting to give us 10 years instead of 3 to repay. At the same time, we are trying to be opportunistic.
Even in a disaster market, there are always opportunities, with destinations that continue to attract travelers. We try to keep the skills in place, when they are no longer there, the skills are not always easy to find.
It is not all to reduce the workforce, but we must not weaken permanently. Finally, we look at must, with some innovation projects, to allow us to bounce back. We are working on a new way to design and create products, faster, more relevant and cheaper. We are preparing for a brighter future.
Flight Exchange: “spring can be one of a good recovery”
TourMaG.com – From an economic point of view, how do you imagine 2022? Fabrice Dariot: If I am told at the end of 2022, that we regain 60% of the activity by 2019, then we would be happy. Then we talk about a special year, since we are going to have presidential elections. They are always more complicated and less predictable exercises. Spring sales are going to be influenced by bridges, sporting events and elections. After that, we are not immune to good news from a health point of view. If we ever have a virus that is getting weaker and less dangerous, then sales can pick up very strongly. Spring can be that of a good recovery.
Posted by Romain Pommier
Journalist – TourMaG.com
See all articles by Romain Pommier