Before February 24 the aviation sector was emerging from the effects of the Omicron variant and was meeting the forecasts of a fast recovery. But now, all predictions are much more problematic. I still believe that there is a good chance we are heading for a positive summer season; bookings have been relatively strong and people are still very keen to travel, primarily on intra European and Transatlantic routes. But the impact of the Ukrainian conflict will be particularly heavy on those network carriers with extensive operations in Asia. Recovery in this region, because of the stricter Covid restrictions, has been slower and now that overflying Siberia is not possible there will be even more challenges for them.
They are, however, strong airlines and I hope they will find a way to respond to this new reality.
The Russian market is going to be closed for a very long time and I am pleased to see that our sanctions on aviation are having a significant impact and destroying the Russian aviation industry, which is the least we can do to respond to the unlawful and unprovoked aggression towards Ukraine.