The COVID-19 has caused a collapse in the entire world economy but it didn’t just stop there. It has caused severe damages to air traffic and the airline industry. It pretty caused a catastrophe on the aviation value chain and that’s not all. The air traffic was down at least more than 50% in 2020, and now it’s even less. But since the vaccinations started, the aviation sector is trying hard to recover all the functionalities.
The Human Need For Traveling
The recovery process from COVID-19 is a long-term war that can be won by countless battles of countermeasures. There have been alternatives in the running crisis including online communications and working from home. We get the idea of virtual technology to keep our works somehow occupied. But it was never a permanent solution, only with a little effectiveness and emergency medium. The human need for traveling is not only freedom, it can’t be replaced by simulations. It’s surely not something people can live without, and it’s a necessity. It’s not something people can stop desiring about. The aviation and tourism industries certainly will recover from this crisis. And with the help of the IATA and the governments worldwide, that will certainly be possible on fulfilling the basic human need of mobility.
How Things Are Going
The RPK (rate of Revenue/Passenger/Kilometers) downfall caused a massive disastrous effect on the airline revenue sectors and the already estimated loss was $118.5B in 2020 and $38.7B by the end of March 2021. And this is certainly the worst financial disaster in the history of the aviation industry. A lot of airlines have collapsed and went pretty much bankrupt. And the loss will keep growing unless international air travel is restarted soon.
The Governments are certainly doing everything they can to contain the spread and supporting the aviation industry to gain its full strength. The IATA has been extremely helpful to support the aviation industry and helping to take countermeasures to deal with the crisis. They also are providing network management with recovery options to supply key data to give a boost to the whole thing. They’re working tirelessly and helping the governments to restart the aviation industry safely.
How The IATA Is Helping
The priority of the government is to keep the people safe from COVID-19. There have been a lot of studies done recently and it shows that the spread rate onboard of the COVID is low and that’s not just a miracle. It has been established because of the restriction of physical contact and making everyone oriented. The air from most of the aircraft is being exchanged every three-four minutes to provide infection-free air to the passengers. And the frequency of air exchange is more here than in office buildings making it safer to travel. The usage of HEPA filters is helping filter out the coronavirus from the air with every filtration process.
The IATA is taking every extra measure needed to take along with the governments to make a safe environment to restart the aviation industry and that’s not all. And since mass vaccination projects have been already started throughout the world, things are finally getting normal day by day. But to reach the pre-covid level in the aviation industry, it’ll still take a lot of time. Which is a lot of hope for everyone compared to what we had last year when the COVID-19 was at its peak. The industry is working with ICAO, WHO and even EASA to use practical terms of best methods to follow the proper guidelines and work safely. These safety measures have given the governments a headstart to restart the aviation industry. And because of making everyone follow these safety measures, the outcomes can be seen perfectly. Such rules as shown below.
- Mandatory rule of wearing face masks everywhere including in the aircraft and the airport.
- Sanitation procedures in both aircraft and airports
- Using social distancing everywhere
- Fewer services on board
- Minimizing physical interactions
The Challenges For The Aviation Industry And The Government
The aviation industry has certainly done a good job of keeping the entire world connected during the pandemic. But things are still not normal like before and the problems still are here. A lot of countries have closed down the borders to contain the spread. And the others have taken extreme precautions through quarantines on passengers. Now the outcome is still bad which pretty much stops the aviation industry along with the tourism industry. Most revenues do come from these sectors and because of these halts, the economy simply crashed which is a big challenge for governments everywhere.
The practical way here was living with the virus and keeping everyone oriented while keeping the aviation sector running. And with a complete shutdown on a major economic sector, it’ll never recover the world economy.
But now that all the governments are seeing through more precise sight, they’re taking more targeted and appropriate safety measures to contain the spread further. And keeping the world economy running while it’s on. Because it’s pretty much clear that widespread lockdowns are taking both economy and society down with it.
And from where the aviation industry stands, they certainly are doing everything they can do to keep the industry running with the help of IATA and governments all over the world. The industry is suggesting everyone not to take a flight if they’re feeling sick. They’ve permitted every passenger to cancel flights without any penalty if the passenger is sick, or suspect that they are.
Even though every preventive measure is taken by the governments, the IATA, and the aviation industry, there is still a lot less hope for us to recover the economy to its full strength. And the industry is pretty much relying on the governments to help with the economic crisis and instability. Not to mention how it put millions of jobs at risk and how the crisis can still affect the aviation industry. The financial support given by governments all over the world will surely help lessen the conflict, but it may still cause an unemployment crisis. The hopelessness remains but the hope we do have now is still more than we had back when COVID-19 was at its peak. And we must hope for the best as things become normal slowly, we surely will build up momentum towards recovering from this crisis.