In this post we’re going to mention some likely outcomes with regard to aviation and air travel after Covid-19.
It doesn’t take an expert to work out that the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the aviation industry has been nothing short of catastrophic. The effect has been disastrous for General Aviation as well as the airline industry and holiday companies.
I’m not going to mention all the statistics about the percentage drop in flights, income and so on, and you’re probably already aware of how vital aviation is for the global economy. As I’ve explained in some of my videos, there are many ancillary services that rely on airlines and air travel, from the taxi drivers to the hotel staff, from the caterers to the cleaners.
The extra fuel of government job retention schemes, grants, and loans have lessened the damage, but they all must be paid for by either higher taxation or more borrowing. For anyone with ambitions involving a future within the aviation industry, whether as a pilot, cabin crew, engineer, or ground staff, this must be a very worrying time.
For the aviation industry it has been far worse than 9/11 and it will take a long time for it to regain altitude. Grounded aircraft not only fail to generate any income, but they drain cash reserves due to the ongoing cost of the essential maintenance required to keep them airworthy and ready to return to service immediately when lockdown is lifted.
Orders for new aircraft have been cancelled, thousands of jobs have been lost, and careers have been put on hold. Airbus has suggested that it may take as long as three to five years for the aviation industry to recover to pre-pandemic levels.
Air Travel after Covid-19: Optimism
However, amidst all the gloom there are already signs of hope and optimism. It has been suggested that this enforced reboot will accelerate the switch to new, modern aircraft with lower carbon emissions and greater fuel efficiency.
Just many people have regained a sense of appreciation for those aspects of life and relationships that we took for granted before lockdown, we may also find that people return to buying air tickets for the same reason. Passengers who have been denied the opportunity for holidays will return with a deeper appreciation of the joys of flight and foreign travel.
Those who enjoy a break that enables them to sunbathe, ski, visit nature reserves, or explore cities may be chomping at the bit to hear that boarding call once again. Even if some low-level risk remains there are plenty of passengers eager to live life to the full, with all its risks, rather than stay at home baking banana bread. And just as some have affirmed that the High Street needs it shoppers to come back in force, so too does the airline industry need its travellers to shake off the lockdown blues and pack a bag.
Smaller, regional airlines may emerge as the first to recover after lockdown as people are willing to take breaks or business trips involving short haul flights. It may take longer for the larger airlines and long-haul carriers to return to profit as they need to have near to full aircraft in order to make flights profitable.
We may find that some airlines start to carry a greater percentage of cargo in order to lessen the reliance upon air passengers. This will present new opportunities for businesses that provide fresh produce and perishable goods.
Already, the management, designers, and engineers within airlines will be examining ways in which they can implement new and better processes that make air travel more efficient with greater automation and thereby reducing cost. This wave of innovation was already there before the pandemic and the net result may be that these ideas are given a lot more attention and funding to bring them into service.
So, if you want to work in the airline industry then keep studying and complete your certifications. Things may look bad now, but you need to be ready when they improve again. Just like those grounded airliners you need to keep yourself airworthy and ready to return to flight as soon as a job opportunity presents itself. There may be job opportunities near you even though the employment prospects have temporarily dried up in other locations.
Aviation is essential and the industry is here to stay. 2020 is the year in which it lost a lot of altitude very suddenly but it will return to cruising level in more efficient aircraft and with renewed vigour.