As April is rapidly drawing to an end and with just over eight weeks until it’s officially Summer, there is certainly much welcome news on the horizon. Whilst the UK economy has experienced its biggest plummet in decades, with domestic borrowing at £303bn in the year to March; crucially, research by several think tanks are predicting a significant rebound with one forecasting body upgrading its 2021 growth forecast from 5% to 6.8%, which would mark the fastest rate seen since ONS records began; fuelled in part by shopping trips and the slow easing of social distancing restrictions.
Evidently, our global World is cautiously reconnecting. Singapore and Hong Kong are set to open the latest air travel bubbles, hot on the heels of Australia and New Zealand. And many EU member states are preparing for a late summer influx of visitors; providing key criteria are met such as possible vaccination passports. Great news for aviation.
Without doubt 2021 will be the year in which our fragile planet comes together and we will learn to live with Covid, no doubt similar to the flu. For me however 2022 will be when we truly feel a real sense of normality. Nevertheless, with a spotlight firmly on the reset timings for the global aviation and cruise sector, its refreshing to see our cruise industry setting sail this year; albeit with a massively restrictive itinerary and new on-board protocol. Our social connectivity, mobility and well-being will be far better off as we come together in person rather than through a digital connection.
At CSS, we are well positioned to capitalise on our World reconnecting. Principally through prudent financial controls and our ability to operate in new channels. And financial stewardship is not all about cost cutting. On the contrary, being prepared is about investing in talent, infrastructure and technology; areas where we have strengthened our business in the past 12-18 months.
So, there is indeed much to be optimistic about. The indicators are all around us and there is an eagerness in the air to just get on.