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  • - [Narrator] The Boeing seven 477,

  • it's the jumbo jet that made long distance travel

  • more affordable and was the crown jewel of BOAC fleet.

  • A company you may now know as British Airways.

  • - [Announcer] By the end of the year BOAC will have extended

  • it's jumbo services around the world

  • on most of it's key routes.

  • - [Narrator] But in 2020, after five decades,

  • BA has decided to bring forward its plans to retire the 747

  • as have other airlines like Qantas and Virgin Atlantic.

  • It's a visible sign of how airlines are having to quickly

  • transform themselves to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

  • - The industry has been decimated.

  • - [Narrator] Passenger volumes dropped an unprecedented 9500:00:42,080 --> 00:00:46,519 in April, and the industry is set to lose $84 billion

  • this year alone.

  • A number of airlines around the world

  • have already gone bust.

  • - It's a little bit like the game of survivor.

  • We don't know how long the downturn is gonna last.

  • - [Narrator] So to stay in business,

  • airlines have to move quickly

  • and face make or break choices

  • at a time of zero visibility.

  • A first critical choice is whether or not to keep flying,

  • and where to send those planes when demand is so low,

  • flying too many planes means losing money,

  • but flying too few means missing out on passenger demand

  • and potentially losing market share.

  • - Getting that balance right, is absolutely crucial.

  • How can I stay in that market?

  • How can I continue to be active,

  • but not fly unnecessary journeys with empty aircraft?

  • So many airlines, that's the great dilemma.

  • - [Narrator] Airlines in the US

  • are going about it in very different ways.

  • - American has said,

  • we're gonna take as many people as we can,

  • pack them into the airplane,

  • reduce our cash losses each day.

  • There are some people who need to travel.

  • There are some people who wanna travel, so let's get them,

  • let's get them all.

  • - [Narrator] But Delta has said,

  • it's going to have the number of planes it's bringing back,

  • leaving its capacity around a 1/4 of what it was last year.

  • - Taking flights out of your schedule

  • does help you save cash.

  • It certainly reduces your, your daily operating costs.

  • And it's quite simple

  • if you only have enough passengers for one or two flights

  • a day, you only wanna be flying one or two flights a day.

  • - [Narrator] Striking the right balance

  • is particularly difficult.

  • And airlines can't even rely on their usual forecast data.

  • As few customers are planning travel ahead of time.

  • - They've lost all of their historic data

  • around booking demand.

  • When people book for what routes,

  • how far in advance, and how much they're prepared to pay.

  • (upbeat music)

  • - [Narrator] That makes another crucial decision

  • particularly pressing, whether or not to keep their staff.

  • - If you're talking about 50% of the world's fleet,

  • being grounded at this moment in time and 50% of the world's

  • capacity not flying at this moment in time,

  • you don't need to be a rocket scientist,

  • I mean, that probably means 50 of people employed

  • in the aviation industry

  • are not gonna be required certainly through the winter

  • of this year.

  • - [Narrator] While carriers like Cathay Pacific

  • and Hong Kong have asked their employees

  • to take unpaid leave,

  • others like Emirates have laid off staff.

  • In the US airlines that accepted government money

  • under the cares act promised not to lay off,

  • or furlough workers until the end of September,

  • but have looked for other options.

  • - What they're asking from employees

  • and labor is usually

  • their number one or number two costs.

  • They're asking for forgiveness voluntary leaves,

  • working fewer hours than what's guaranteed

  • in their contracts.

  • Different relief forms like that.

  • - [Narrator] American has worn 25,000 of its staff

  • that their jobs are at risk once funding expires.

  • And United said, it's exploring shedding 36,000 employees,

  • nearly 1/2 of its US workforce,

  • but furloughing, specialized workers

  • can have longterm consequences.

  • - You don't wanna furlough a pilot

  • for just a couple of months

  • and then have to bring them back

  • for a couple months of training,

  • and you don't wanna create training cycles

  • where you just jam up your facilities

  • and you can't get the people train

  • that you need to get trained.

  • There are only so many hours in the flight simulators.

  • (upbeat music)

  • - [Narrator] Back to those 747.

  • - [Announcer] The jumbos cruising speed up 625 miles an hour

  • makes relatively short work of the Atlantic flight.

  • - [Narrator] Huge planes like these,

  • which can sometimes carry more than 500 passengers

  • have become difficult to fill.

  • As few people are flying around the world,

  • and Boeing has said it will stop producing the 747

  • altogether in 2022.

  • - The 747 is an expensive plane to fly.

  • Four engines are always more expensive than two engines.

  • And the reality is the bigger older planes

  • are the ones that don't make sense anymore.

  • - [Narrator] But it's not just a matter of cost.

  • The retirement of so many,

  • 747s reveals a much deeper change.

  • - The aircraft was designed

  • and it has been used most recently

  • with quite large proportions of first

  • and business class seats.

  • Now the one thing that is not coming back,

  • and it's certainly not coming back quickly

  • is corporate demand.

  • - [Narrator] Delta CEO, Ed Bastian told analysts,

  • "He didn't expect corporate flying to ever recover

  • "to its pre pandemic level."

  • - You can often cover the cost of a flight,

  • just filling the business class seats,

  • and then everything else in coach is profit.

  • But if that's not the case business travel,

  • doesn't come back.

  • Then what do you do.

  • - [Narrator] In just a few months?

  • What had been a steadily growing sector for decades

  • has become a huge loss making business for airlines,

  • and the choices they make now,

  • will likely change the way we fly for years to come.

  • - Do they have the confidence

  • that they're gonna call it correctly?

  • You know, do we know what's gonna happen in the future?

  • It would be a brave call for any airline

  • to make such a dramatic change of position

  • in the market so quickly.

  • (soft music)

- [Narrator] The Boeing seven 477,

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航空会社がパンデミックを乗り切る方法|WSJ (How Airlines Can Survive the Pandemic | WSJ)

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    Annie Huang に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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