"Travel as we knew it in January NEVER returns": Billionaire Airbnb's co-founder offers a thorough analysis of the effects of corona viruses and says bookings have dropped 80% in six weeks
- Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, gave a bleak interview on Tuesday
- He said the pandemic may have permanently changed American travel habits
- Business trips could never recover after companies accepted video conferencing
- Vacation trips have shifted towards national parks and rural areas on the driving range
- Chesky said the pandemic wiped out 80% of Airbnb's business in just six weeks
The co-founder and CEO of Airbnb made the bad prediction that travel before the coronavirus pandemic would never recover to the same level, and said his company was devastated by the crisis.
"Travel has changed forever," Brian Chesky told Yahoo Finance in an interview released Tuesday. "The world of travel as we knew it in January never comes back … I'm very confident about that."
"We spent 12 years building our business and lost about 80 percent of it in six weeks," he said of Airbnb, which was $ 26 billion internally in early March and was forced to make plans for one IPO suspend pandemic hit.
“It felt like you were on a ship and it was wiped off the side. It was incredibly intense, everything broke all at once, ”said Chesky, adding that business has been recovering in the months since.
"Travel has changed forever," Brian Chesky (top) told Yahoo Finance in an interview released Tuesday. “The world of travel as we knew it in January never comes back.
Chesky firmly believed that the experience of the pandemic would change the way Americans travel forever.
Business travel could never return to pre-pandemic levels, he said after companies familiarized themselves with remote video conferencing during the ban.
Vacation habits could also change in the long run as more Americans choose closer destinations that can be reached by car and choose rural destinations rather than big cities, Chesky said.
"People say they want to leave home no matter what country they're in," Chesky told Yahoo Finance editor Andy Serwer.
“But they don't feel particularly comfortable right now when they get on planes. They want to get in cars and they don't want to go more than 300 miles away or 200 miles a tank full, ”he said.
"A whole bunch of people who thought they had to get on a plane and go to a city and stay in a central district find that there are 400 national parks in the United States, and I live near one and maybe should I go see a nature park, ”he adds. "Suddenly, you can't undo all this knowledge."
An empty check-in counter can be seen at Los Angeles International in May. More and more travelers are opting for a vacation near their home in the midst of the pandemic, a trend that could continue
Air traffic in the United States decreased by around 80 percent compared to the same period last year, as the latest daily screening data from the Transportation Security Administration shows.
Air traffic recovered slowly until the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, particularly in the Sun Belt, increased from the end of June.
In New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, visitors from 31 states must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, and similar decrees apply in other states.
About 530,000 people went through U.S. airport security checks on Tuesday, the lowest in July except for Independence Day holidays, and a 78 percent decrease from the previous year.
A traveler passes an abandoned walkway at Boston Logan International Airport in April. Air travel in the United States declined by approximately 80 percent compared to the same period last year
However, Chesky said Airbnb has seen a recovery in business as people go on vacation in the surrounding area, claiming the company's bookings are at last year's level.
"You want to stay in houses. It was a surprise for us, ”he said.
Airlines and hotels were among the hardest hit by the pandemic, and only hundreds of billions of dollars in rescue funds kept the country's airlines afloat.
United Airlines executives said Wednesday that the airline's revenue from vaccination will be around 50 percent of the pre-pandemic.
United said its average flight from April to June was 35 percent full and the July average would be 45 percent.
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