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Omicron hits pause on travel and events
Transport & tourism (general)
With an ominously titled new Covid variant, companies in sectors dependent on people coming together in close proximity await some certainty about what Omicron means for business.
Why it matters
We are now well into the pandemic, and at this point with the festive period fast approaching, businesses and individuals are starting to work out how Covid – or, better put, the measures used to slow its spread – work. Relentless positivity won’t work, even if governments continue to pursue that strategy, but businesses and the public are following the news closely and are ready to adapt.
As the world awaits scientific consensus on whether this variant is worse than Delta, its effects are being felt around the world.
Low-cost UK airline has told investors that it expects its quarterly capacity to be just 65% that of pre-pandemic levels (rather than its projected 70%), the WSJ reports.
What’s particularly interesting is that the company is seeing customers adapting plans rather than cancelling. “When they are taking action, they are rebooking to the early part of next year,” says CEO Johan Lundgren. Pandemic flexibility looks here to stay.
Though more stringent testing is adding to this, many events businesses and the auxiliary services like hotels and restaurants are preparing as much for government-mandated measures as individual reticence ahead of the holidays.
Meanwhile, the OECD has said that the new variant threatens to worsen some of the late pandemic’s trickier economic problems by adding uncertainty, which could likely exacerbate supply chain issues and further drive up inflation.