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伦敦系列爆炸案的严重影响

2005-07-12 17:40国际在线·李远

  摘要:

  英国伦敦日前发生的系列爆炸案震惊了全世界,英国本国乃至全球的航空业务势必会受到沉重的打击。

  European routes are among the airlines' most profitable. And even though London's airports remained open throughout the attacks, they could have a deeper impact - at least in the near term - on the airline industry than the train bombings last year in Madrid did.

  英国伦敦日前发生的系列爆炸案震惊了全世界,英国本国乃至全球的航空业务势必会受到沉重的打击。对于英国的航空公司来说,欧洲航线的利润率非常之高,因此被视为主要业务核心,这也能够解释为何在伦敦爆炸案发生的第2天机场仍能保持正常运营。不过,不容忽视的一点是:机场的大门敞开着,乘客的心也许已经关闭。

  据报道,有关分析家认为,此次伦敦系列爆炸案对于航空工业的打击将远远大于去年马德里的火车爆炸案。首先比起西班牙马德里,伦敦在欧洲乃至全球的航空线路中占据着举足轻重的地位。此次的恶性爆炸事件很有可能将无限期推迟那些利润率很高的商务旅客出行计划。美国航空业咨询机构博伊德公司总裁迈克尔·博伊德说:“美洲航空、大陆航空和西北航空等,凡是有伦敦航班的航空公司的业务将大幅度受挫。”目前的统计数据显示,爆炸直接导致飞往伦敦机票预定价格下降了3%到5%。另一方面,目前正处在欧洲的旅游旺季,因此对于航空公司来说,英国飞来的横祸完全是一场灾难。

  为了早日帮助乘客驱散心理阴影,并维护其在乘客心目中的形象,欧洲的航空公司纷纷拿出杀手锏,其中包括放宽对取消机票预定的限制,甚至一些航空公司不再收取机票预定取消的手续费。

  在爆炸问题的担忧上,商务乘客明显要表现得更强烈一些。美国iJET风险管理公司总裁布卢斯说:“我们公司已经告诫业务人员在短期内放弃欧洲市场,因为我们不希望节外生枝。”而与此同时,游客们则表现得从容不迫,他们往往表示将坚持原定的旅游计划。一位美国旅游代理公司负责人说,目前美国的游客仍然在询问英国机场是否一切正常,每天去往英国的游客仍然不在少数。

  实际上,美国大多数人表现出豁达态度的游客并不是真真正正地放心。考虑到英国爆炸案件的恐怖性质,他们认为,实际上美国国内的安全程度也好不到那里去。一位即将飞往苏格兰的美国游客表示:“你无法预计明天会发生什么,英国地铁系统发生的惨案并不让我感到担忧,相反我倒对纽约地铁感到不安。”

  Bombings Could Have Impact on Airline Industry

  European routes are among the airlines' most profitable. And even though London's airports remained open throughout the attacks, they could have a deeper impact - at least in the near term - on the airline industry than the train bombings last year in Madrid did.

  London's airports feed more traffic to the rest of Europe than those in Madrid do. Industry officials and analysts worried that high-paying business travelers would postpone trips, afraid that what happened in the British capital was only the beginning of a wave of terrorist attacks.

  "Carriers like American, Continental and Northwest, which have a lot of flights going to London, are going to take a hit," said Michael Boyd, president of the Boyd Group Inc., an aviation consulting business. He estimated that bookings to London by the nation's airlines would drop 3 percent to 5 percent immediately after of the attacks. "It will be a dent in the fender, but not a big enough dent to send them into bankruptcy," he said.

  Although the setback is unlikely to do permanent damage to an improving airline industry, company executives want to make sure that the dent to their business is small and short-lived.

  So, a number of airlines flying to Europe loosened their cancellation policies yesterday to accommodate trans-Atlantic travelers with second thoughts. Airlines waived some cancellation fees and issued vouchers for future flights to passengers who wanted to stay home. Although few cancellations were reported, analysts expect more.

  "It's unfortunate for the airlines, because the transatlantic has been one of the bright spots in their business, and we're right in the middle of the principal travel season for flying to Europe," said Philip Baggaley, a senior airline credit analyst at Standard Poor's.

  Andrew Frank, a communications consultant from New York, was scheduled to fly to Moscow on British Airways yesterday afternoon, with a stopover in London. "I heard that there might be some disruptions in London, and I didn't want to take a chance," he said. So he paid $2,000 for a direct flight on Delta Air Lines.

  Business travelers appeared to be reacting to the bombings with greater concern than vacationers. Bruce McIndoe, the chief executive of iJET Intelligent Risk Systems, a risk management business in Annapolis, Md., said there were good reasons for the corporate worries.

  "A lot of our clients are telling their employees to lay off London, at least through the end of the week," he said. "They don't want to add to the situation, and they are afraid that there may be more incidents in the near future."

  Leisure travelers seemed to be sticking to their plans. "I've had one call today from someone who was leaving to go to London, and she wanted to know if the airport in London was open," said Cheryl C. Hudak, president of Travel Dimensions Inc., a leisure travel agency in Boardman, Ohio.

  After she told her client that the airport was open, the woman decided to continue with her trip.

  Some leisure travelers seemed downright defiant. Robert Burke, a technology consultant in Miami, is set to vacation in Ireland next month with his son and daughter. He said the bombings had the opposite of their intended effect. "When I heard about what happened in London, I said to my son, 'Let's go to London to show our solidarity,'" he said.

  Visiting London might not be such a bad idea, said Terry Riley, an independent security consultant. He said the city was likely to be one of the safest places in Europe for the rest of the summer. "The police will be on their guard," he said. "People will be on their guard."

  Indeed, some travelers with plans to visit Britain said they almost felt safer overseas than at home. Laura Davidson, who owns a public relations agency in New York, is planning to fly to Scotland next month. "I'm not concerned about the airport, and I'm not concerned about terrorism in the U.K.," she said. "You want to know what worries me? After the attack on London's mass transit system, I'm more worried about getting on the New York subway."

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