Roaring Out of a Global Pandemic: How Airlines and Hotels Can Structure for Recovery


In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, no other businesses have fallen as hard and as fast as airlines and hotels. The global travel industry that spurred over four billion trips a year is now staring at $880 billion in losses owing to country-specific international flight restrictions and trip cancellations.

Currently, both the aviation and hotel industries are looking for creative revenue streams and are implementing social responsibility initiatives. A few major carriers such as Southwest Airlines are offering low-cost roundtrips with lifetime validity, and American Airlines is using its parked passenger planes for cargo-only flights to deliver critical supplies around the world. Several hotels are offering their rooms for free or at heavily subsidized rates to the government for healthcare professionals and to quarantine foreign travelers.

So, what will it take to see a light at the end of the tunnel? For airline and hotel businesses to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, they must take a data-driven, action-oriented approach. They will need to have a stringent focus on restructuring the business to ensure operational resilience while building the foundation to weather such storms in the future. In this paper, Roaring Out of a Global Pandemic: How Airlines and Hotels Can Structure for Recovery, ISG explores how the airlines and hotel industries can restructure themselves once they resume operations and leverage technology to combat any future crises.

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About the authors

John Westfield is a senior IT services industry executive with more than 30 years of expertise in commercial ITO/BPO sourcing, service delivery and operations across Fortune 500 industries and markets. He leverages his sound consulting experience to quickly learn and adapt to his client’s unique environment to achieve the desired objectives of an engagement.

Todd Dirks, based in Denver, Colorado is a Director for ISG’s Travel, Transportation, & Hospitality Business Unit – supporting the hospitality/gaming, cruise, rental car, travel agency/tourism, airline, shipping & transportation, rail, airport, and space travel market sectors.