There was a marked shift in conversations this week as travel companies and stakeholders from airports to destinations started to discuss their visions of the future industry landscape.

For many, those visions made for incredibly sad reading, linked as they were to the contraction of businesses and workforces.

As I wrote this column on Tuesday afternoon, Virgin Atlantic became the latest brand to announce it intended to take drastic action to reduce its operations and retail estate. Meanwhile, NCL issued a stark warning about its future, and Travelopia confirmed cuts which signalled the end of two long-established brands for the trade.

6maycoverAs was feared from the outset of this crisis, the pandemic is taking a massive toll, not just on lives and health, but on economies, livelihoods and security. It is this fine balance which governments are trying to strike around the world, and which travel firms large and small are also grappling with as they fight for their corporate survival.

Our front page this week focuses on the latest pressing challenge facing agents and operators, namely due dates for balance payments on summer holidays.

But it could equally relate to a raft of similar challenges for companies and individuals walking the tightrope of staying in business while attempting to safeguard staff, colleagues and customers.

These challenges may at times seem insurmountable. But we must all keep trying to chart that path to recovery, if only one step at a time.


Lucy Huxley, editor-in-chief