Life slowly returns to normal after the shock wave of coronavirus. One thing is for sure, our habits will change after this pandemic. Precaution is the main measure that can prevent the spread of the virus. One of the questions that arise is what air traffic will look like after a pandemic? What changes can we expect in air travel after a pandemic and how will they reflect on the way we are used to flying?
The damage caused by the pandemic to the aviation industry is enormous, and numerous changes will certainly be seen even after the situation normalizes and when air travel rebounds.
Airlines are struggling to get passengers flying again, and both airlines and airports are rethinking their safety and health regulations to gain passengers’ trust and evade the virus’ spread.
Global measures and a lot of novelty
Airline strategy firm SimpliFlying has predicted as many as 70 ways in which flying can be differentiated after a pandemic. Some procedures, such as measuring body temperature, are likely to become part of common measures at all airports. Besides, a blood test or nasal swab before the flight or upon arrival may be requested from the passenger. The German Airport Association (ADV) has published a guideline laying out hygiene measures airports intend to follow to reduce the risk that passengers and employees will become infected while traveling by plane.
Initially, the airports will serve between 20% and 50% off their normal capacity, with the gradual normalization of traffic and the return to regular caps. To ensure more distance between individuals, airports will provide a greater number of check-in counters as well as more buses for transporting travelers from the airport terminal to the plane. A minimum distance of 1.5 meters (5 feet) between each other while waiting in lines. This will create huge queues at airports, so they face the challenge of how to overcome this difficulty.
We need to know that air passengers are not in a greater infection risk than passengers in any other form of public transport. However, it takes a lot of effort and time to recover the confidence to travel safely again. Airports have to ensure its operations will match the need concerning people traveling. Depending on how much we sort of loosen self-isolation and social distancing, it could again hit the most vulnerable just when you think it’s all over.
Other possible measures
You may not be a drug or weapons smuggler, but one of the ideas of the new measures will attract your attention. There is an idea about training dogs that could find out if someone is positive for the virus or not. They would be trained to smell the coronavirus on travelers, even if they aren’t showing any symptoms. Respiratory diseases affect the odor, so dogs would be trained to recognize that smell.
McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas has installed vending machines selling personal protective equipment in two terminals, where fliers can buy gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and alcohol wipes to better protect themselves from the coronavirus. This could be the announcement of another novelty that could come to life at airports around the world.
Worrying is IATA’s prediction that all these events could lead to a large increase in air traffic. Calls for social distancing measures on an airplane would radically change the economics of aviation by cutting the maximum load factor to 62%. That is considerably below the average industry breakeven load factor of 77%. With fewer seats to sell, unit costs would rise sharply.
These are just some of the innovations that have already been introduced or are being considered as a possibility. Of course, general safety comes first. Hoping that the days of the pandemic are behind us and will no longer disrupt daily life, we send you our warmest greetings.
Follow our blog and find out all the news from the world of the aviation industry.