COVID-19 to drive European airline industry shakeout
The coronavirus will accelerate a Darwinian shakeout in Europe’s overcrowded airline industry that ultimately benefits Ryanair and British Airways owner IAG, industry experts predict.
Nobody is exempted from the short-term pain that has already seen Flybe collapse and Norwegian Air stock lose about 70 per cent of its value in a month, with no end to the crisis in sight.
But the extreme stress-test already promises to increase the power of a handful of key players, when the epidemic eventually recedes and passengers return en masse.
“It’s inevitable in the next couple of weeks we’ll see more failures,” Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said in a recent interview, citing Flybe and Norwegian as vulnerable.