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AFTA Update

AFTA CEO Update | 12 May 2020

CANCELLATION and refunds, cancellation and refunds, cancellation and refunds and it goes on. And it will continue to go on it would seem, sadly, for some time to come. 

While the announcements made by the Prime Minister post the National Cabinet meeting last Fri (08 May) that three new levels have been established to provide some guidance to the road out of COVID-19, travel of any substance does not form any fundamental consideration of these new levels. 

No doubt the social distancing and general movement of and gathering of people are the primary considerations for the new levels as we are allowed out, the ability to move around more broadly, move around our own state, move around the country and one day move around the world all seem to be some time away. As such, and it is to be expected, consumers will continue to look to cancel trips and request refunds. And so it continues like death by a thousand cuts as the travel industry continues to deal with these very ridged travel restrictions. 

Albeit that some indications have been given that intra state and interstate travel may be allowed over the coming month – late Jun or Jul, there still remains no factual, reliable statement by any government neither federal or state, about if this is to be the case. I suspect that we may get some more reliable statements about this by the end of the month and I hope that is the case, but right now the consideration to book travel remains at question. 

It is complicated no doubt as to what people should be considering and when we should be considering to do it – that is travel. We can only hope that scheduled reliable domestic travel will be allowed from Jul, but at this point in time getting a national agreement on that may be an equally complex challenge.

So while everyone welcomes the introduction of the new road to recovery restriction levels and we can start to at least think about moving around, planning seems to me to be the most constructive thing the travel industry can continue to do until there is a clear concise and well articulated runway to travelling once again. 

Each week we watch and wait for crumbs of hope and happiness during these difficult and frustrating times but the one good thing is that we are closer to the end than when this first started. 

Prepare for more cancellations and refunds, start planning for selling domestic trips and hope that we might be allowed off the island (Australia) for Christmas.