COVID19: THE EFFECTS ON AVIATION INDUSTRY
Dear all, I hope all of you are well. It has been a good 8 months since my last post because a lot of changes has happened to my life and to the world.
I have been travelling nonetheless but have since "downgraded" to Budget carriers or Economy Class because travel was limited to Southeast Asia and we are talking about 3-4 hours flight time maximum. I also decided to make full use of the airline status hence there is really no point for premium class travel. I am glad that i did downgraded way ahead because the economy is real bad now. To the point that we have to use reserves for this rainy season. So the money saved on Premium Class for the last few months are being put in to good use now.
Photo by The Straits Times
As COVID19 or if you like it, COVID20 has hit hard on all of us. Unprecedented & Shocking Effect across all sectors especially the Tourism and Air travel. As a Aviation geek, it grieves me to see pictures of grounded plane at airports around the world. This lead to an devastating effect on aviation employees. My thoughts are with them.
However, COVID19 has forced us to be more techie and to keep up with the sophisticated technologies like Video Conferencing. We must thankful because without these technologies, one could imagine the worse for businesses in the current climate. Besides the corporate world, Government around the world are also conducting their yearly summit and bilateral meetings on Video Conferencing to keep the world moving.
According to ICAO's research, the preliminary estimates the impact on scheduled international passenger traffic during first half 2020 is an Overall reduction of 503 to 607 million passengers and resulted in a USD 112 to 135 billion potential loss of gross operating revenues of airlines.
Biggest overall impact is expected in Europe and Asia/Pacific, followed by North America and Middle East and if the current-level of contraction continues to September 2020, airlines would lose USD 35 to 40 billion gross operating revenues every month in the 3rd quarter 2020, hitting summer travel peak season, especially in Europe and North America.
Looking at the figures for the last 3 months, international passenger capacity was reduced by 13% in February 2020 mainly related to traffic to/from States experiencing an early outbreak and countries deeply interconnected to China followed by 49% reduction in March 2020 due to the rising number of cases and declaration of COVID 19 being a Pandemic by World Health Organization.
In April 2020, we see a drastic 89% reduction in traffic due to tighten travel restriction & containment measures in place around the world. In fact some airlines has come to a complete halt.
Photo by Sri Lankan Airlines
We all foresee that in the coming months, especially May 2020, it could hit and maintain the peak for as long as the virus continues. In fact all flights that are operating now are mostly Cargo Flights or Rescue/Chartered Flights to bring back stranded citizens abroad. Besides Airlines, Airports also took a hit because they primarily serve airlines!
Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
The recovery of the Aviation Industry will heavily depend on the virus's existence. Even so, the growth will be slow. Businesses are likely to cut down heavily on travel expenses to cushion the loss over the last few months. Travel could become an unnecessary expenses with the available technologies we have. Everything could go Digital but of course not all business could work this way.
Airports will also have to think of ways to sustain expenses when there's no flights but again it's easy said than being done. Simple Logic : No Flights, No Passengers, No Soul at the airports. Needless to say, the effect on Tourism etc.
Global Economy & Recession will also force consumers to cut down on Leisure Trips. Together with the physiological effect of our humans minds, there are likely no travel for a good period of time even if the world declare victory on the Virus. The fear in us will go on for a while before we start seeing gradual recovery.
Thankfully, I belong to one of the sectors where i need to travel around so i am likely to resume travelling when everything stabilized. Of course with some serious considerations.
I made great plans for Year 2020 with the some of the New & Upcoming Airlines like Vietnam's Bamboo Airlines & Taiwan's Starlux Airlines but unfortunately i have to shelf them for a while until things gets better. Thanks to my Oneworld Emerald, i got matched to a 4 years Adventurer Status with Starlux Airlines. They better be around i hope!
This virus is an additional burden for many airlines around the world which had already been bleeding a lot of money over the past few years due to Slowing Economy. With this virus, it's an impending death row. That being said, Airline's Existence Post Pandemic is going to be a huge hurdle. Government must step in to help their Aviation Sector to recover because the world heavily depends on connectivity to bring the economy together.
Photo from InsuranceBusinessMag
Ending off this post, i would like to thank my readers for the continued support over the last 8 months. Surprisingly there is some thousands of blog visitors monthly, mostly checking out the post on Rimowa Luggage as well as some Airlines Reviews.
As of press time, Singapore, where i belong has seen over 6,000 cases. Just the past 1 week, we have had over 3,400 new cases! The world needs our prayer and we all have a part to play. I also wish you and your family well in wherever you are around the world. Together we will see the beautiful sunrise & sunset up in the skies again.
Stay safe & God bless all of us!