Ultra Long-Haul: An emerging business model accelerated by COVID-19

14 September 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has sent shockwaves throughout the aviation industry, sending a myriad of liquidity-strapped airlines into administration or part government ownership. In turn, this paper argues that the novel phenomenon of Ultra Long Haul (ULH) operations already maintains the necessary characteristics to generate a competitive advantage that will not only succeed, but outperform other business models, in a post COVID-19 era. Our modelling and scenario analysis results suggest that point-to-point ULH services, with access to a strong domestic feeder system, will not only require minimal adjustments to cope with COVID-19, but will simultaneously produce higher seat-load factors and yields, heightened network flexibility, and unique health benefits tied to its ability to bypass densely populated hub airports.