All the attention in recent months has been directed to the coronavirus pandemic. The uncertainty brought to us by this situation has pushed all regular activities into the background. Today, when the situation is calming down and life is slowly returning to normal, we try to look at all the consequences that will occur to us and what will be the change in air travel.
We have already written a lot about the current consequences and problems faced by airlines. In the new text, we will try to predict what air traffic will look like after the coronavirus and what changes we can expect.
No doubt it will take a long time for passenger traffic to recover, even after the coronavirus is under control and people can fly again. Airline executives implied they foresee fewer flights and falling demand for air travel for quite some time. The number of daily flights has fallen by 80% since the start of the year, and in some regions, nearly all passenger traffic has been suspended. The legitimate question is how air traffic will look in the future? One thing we can assume with certainty. The future of flying is a highly sanitized one.
The crisis has brought many small airlines to the brink of bankruptcy, and the question is how many of them will be able to recover. If the recovery is as slow as expected, it means airline and workforce will have to be smaller than it is today. The crisis is likely to result in a more consolidated, fiscally prudent industry.
The situation led to the inevitable interference of states to help. However, countries are not immediately rushing to the rescue and will do so with conditions attached. Some states are even considering the re-nationalization of struggling airlines as their solution to the crisis. The issue of future financing is on the agenda, and one of the ideas is the liberalization of laws on foreign investment, which would allow a larger share of foreign companies. It’s something the European Commission has also been considering.
Slow recovery and new policies
It could be months before the aviation industry recovers as experts. IATA predicts a $ 76 billion loss in revenue for Europe this year. Cutting costs is a priority, so airlines will have to use every possible means to do so. they will have to think about the policy of clutching more and more passengers on the same flight. This implies that they may even leave the middle seat open to ensure the distance between people while the disease still circulates. Examples of this practice are Lufthansa and Eurowings which are introducing further measures to ensure the physical distance between passengers during their journey. This may relax the situation a bit, but it comes at a serious cost.
Attention is now gradually turning to the future, and how airlines around the world can hope to slowly return to something approaching normality. There are currently around 17,000 aircraft parked up at airports around the world. Domestic routes within individual countries will open up first, followed by short-haul international services. A global restart plan is needed. How will people be separated in airport lounges, in security queues, or the airports themselves? What tests will be required, and how will they be carried out? There is also a very important issue of non-aeronautical revenues, which brings large revenues to the industry.
Flexibility is what is expected now. It is hard to predict any outcome while the crisis is unfolding. It is supposed that carriers will favor smaller and more manageable jets like Boeing Co.’s Dreamliner and Airbus SE’s A330 over behemoths like the A380. Strict health measures will certainly be applied for some time to come, and we will see in time what will remain of them in the long run. But probably the biggest problem of the industry is the uncertain future that lies ahead of all of us.
With the hope of getting out of the crisis as soon as possible Poente Technical wishes you good health.