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Travel industry bears Covid scars

Airlines and cruise ships expect to be back at near-full capacity by the end of this year, but they still have a mountain to climb in terms of tackling debt
Travel industry bears Covid scars

On the face of things, the travel sector looks as though it could come through the biggest ever threat to its existence relatively unscathed.

A pandemic which began for millions around the world by watching Carnival's (US:CCL) Diamond Princess quarantined at a port in Yokohama as the virus spread among more than 700 passengers and crew looks to be ending with airline, cruise and tourism industry bosses reporting strong forward booking numbers. Budget airline Jet2 (JET2) has even dispensed with the requirement for customers to wear masks, setting the stage for others to follow in the months ahead.

However, the scars inflicted on the industry by Covid-19 could take years to heal. Millions of jobs of have been lost, at least 90 airlines have gone bankrupt, and the billions of dollars of extra debt taken on by cruise liners means credit ratings have been trashed and balance sheets remain under pressure.

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