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Skytra ticket price indices pave way for air travel derivatives

UK regulatory approval for a new set of benchmarks could help a shattered industry emerge from the pandemic

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Gerhard G via Pixabay

When Airbus business development staffers Elise Weber and Matt Tringham started work on an airline ticket pricing database back in 2017, the idea of a pandemic that would bring global airline travel almost to a halt was mere theory. Even when they formally launched the database in January 2020 as Skytra, an Airbus subsidiary, coronavirus was yet to have the world in its grip.

But 12 months later, approval by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority of Skytra as the official provider of the world’s first air travel price indices could revolutionize the way in which airlines emerge from the Covid-19 crisis by giving them a powerful tool with which to hedge revenue volatility.

Regulation has made banks more resilient since the global financial crisis, but coronavirus exposed the vulnerability of the corporate sector to demand and supply shocks. Skytra’s offering could help airlines manage their way out of it.

Help of any sort is sorely needed. Airlines have been ravaged by the pandemic. According to a November 2020 report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), spending on global air transport is likely to have fallen more than 60% in 2020, to about $340 billion, and is still likely to be below $500 billion in 2021.

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