Surviving COVID-19: ‘You rip off the band-aid’

Coronavirus has hit travel companies the hardest. One recounts what it’s like to be in the middle of the crisis.

Saving lives is the topmost priority. So it is understandable that a lot of focus is on social distancing and isolation to stop the rapid growth of the novel coronavirus. Already, the number of infections outside China, where the virus originated, is peaking at an alarming rate. So much so that Europe is now being viewed as the new epicentre of the pandemic. But even as all of this has been happening, voices are starting to emerge on the impact of the coronavirus on the economy, and on companies.

Public markets across the world are volatile, and depending on who you ask, you’ll get a version of hope or doom.

Along with the aviation business which clearly is reeling from the frontal impact of travel bans, I think travel companies, many of whom are dependent on people moving around for work or leisure, are the worst hit.

Last week, I reached out to one of the co-founders of a travel company, someone who has built a robust, differentiated business. “How are things?” I asked. This is what came back:

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