“In the rush to return to normal use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to”
You have probably flown with airline services at least once in your life, but here you ever thought how much effort and human recourses it took so that you or anybody else be on the aircraft and go to your place fast and safe.
Impact of Covid_19 on Aviation
The impact so far has been dramatic with several airlines & airports, How the aviation industry cops with the covid 19 exiting protocols have ruled on scientifically questionable evidence & might not lead to the optimal balance between public health safety and airlines financial viability, so the industry has been gone down, the aviation sector has been one of the most affected sectors due to covid 19 pandemic suffering the biggest crises in its history, It has started from 11th March 2020 WHO (World Health Organization) Declared the worldwide pandemic and countries suspended all most all fights as a consequence of national lockdowns and border closures. The impact was greater on international flights than on domestic flights. Air traffic was only 8% of the usual rate. As only cargo operations repatriations and emergency flights were carried out. Airlines around the globe are struggling to turn around, Has been pretty open where airlines enforced cost-cutting measures ranging from salary cuts to furloughs airlines are forced to lay off more than 4, 00,000 employees worldwide, It’s unbelievable the top executives’ airlines come down and enforced cost-cutting The other aspect to consider is non-aeronautical revenues which are necessary as aeronautical revenues alone cannot cover all airport and airlines operations and capital cost.
Air travel and tourism, directly and indirectly, contribute about 10 per cent of global GDP and support 330 million jobs worldwide. The sudden drop in air traffic has lead to almost complete paralysis of both aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues. The aeronautical revenue airport receives from airlines such as landing charges for aircraft and security charges, As people stop flying non-aeronautical revenue derived from airport parking facilities, restaurants or duty-free etc….According to ACI total airport revenues fell by 35 per cent worldwide many airports remain open for cargo operations, which should provide some relief to airports however cargo operations were affected by airlines capacity decreases as cargo often travels in the belly of passenger aircraft.
Response to the crisis:
Given the severity of the current crisis trade associations and legislators are calling for government support to ensure aviation’s survival, ACI has argued for measures that protect airport revenues alleviate airport slot usage requirements reconsider concession fee payments, provide relief from airport taxes, and call for financial assistance from governments. With government support, the airlines did their best even in the crisis. They helped for transporting essential goods, medicine by putting their lives at risk. For operations, they have taken several safety measures just to ensure the staffs are safe. The safety measures are like temperature check for every staff, PP kit, providing an exact information’s to the staffs so that the staffs will be well aware of what’s going on and they will follow all safety measures. Many airlines came forwards to help the government to bring their nationality back to their country at low cost and maintain all safety measures to ensure passengers safety, the use of aircraft by travellers has been implicated in the spread of the coronavirus the WHO noted that transmission of infection may occur between passengers who are seated in the same area in the aircraft. Usually, as a result of the infected individual coughing or sneezing or by touch, airlines have requested passengers to wear masks during the flight according to the WHO diseases control prevention doesn’t spread easily on a flight, the need for social distancing, personal hygiene. India, in particular, has done well to bring back flyers on domestic routes while international passenger services continue to be restricted and operated under “travel bubbles ‘through bilateral agreements with the partner countries. As with any major crisis covid, 19 and its economic ramifications have presented many challenges and opportunities.
Where did all the aircraft go:
Hit by the collapse in demand for flights due to covid-19 commercial airlines have parked their grounded fleets in some of the most remote locations in the world these places are variously called airline boneyards or retirement facilities, here planes are either parked or stored for long periods and then returned to service or broken up to sell their parts, the commercial airline often finds it cheaper to park their aircraft at a storage facility than at an airport. Aeroplanes can be stored for a long time at these locations experts say airlines would typically incur a monthly cost of around 5000$ to maintain the aircraft in a long term storage program
By late march after the, we shut its skies to Europe planes began screaming into tarmac aero saves boneyards. no one knew if they were going into short-term residency or long term storage, Aviation experts said that the pandemic has forced more planes to these boneyards than in any development in recent history, more than 16,000 of the worlds commercial aircraft are grounded. This is the largest grounding of commercial aircraft ever precipitated by the virtual shutdown of the global passenger network as a consequence of travel restriction resulting from the pandemic and to reduction in demand for passenger air travel, and when you suddenly have thousands of planes with nowhere to go it becomes logistical nightmare .even the aircraft manufacture airbus is being asked to help airlines find places to park.
Airlines have faced a sharp decline in traffic triggered by a global event in the past.
The safety and security in the airport:
As everyone knows airport is one of the red hot spots when it comes to security threats, whatever happens, can’t compromise security In this pandemic period there was a lot of difficulties gone through by the security officers in an airport. Even though they ensure the safety, security and health of passengers and staff remain top priorities, for airports and their partners in the aviation industry. It is important that security screening practices can be adapted to new circumstances without affecting the overall security of the system. Guidelines have been issued to airport management and staff with procedures that will help protect passengers as well as screening agents and other airports staffs as they carry out their important functions.
ACI worlds guidance not only includes the provision of protective equipment but also advice on queue and crowd management at the checkpoints procedures for hands search and the use of explosive trace detection equipment includes on every security checkpoints like screening of passengers and staff the screening of baggage. it also advises communication of these practices to passengers.
Now all airports need to adopt new safety and security measures along with the operations. the joint publication with airports council international ACI and IATA has come forward to safely restarting aviation. This considered medical evidence and multilayered approaches to support the restart of operations suggestions like temperature and symptom screening, Use of masks and PPE, Physical distancing, Cleaning and disinfecting infrastructure, Cold-19 testing and antibody testing, Measures to assist contact tracing
As well as measures related to pilot and crew members and their layover experience. Many authorities including CAAC have published guidance for operations to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease which interestingly, they differentiated responses need for international and domestic flights through risk scoring mechanisms depending on the risk score, different prevention and control measures are recommended.
Now the industry returning to the work process with the consideration of how and what aviation roles will look like in the future:
A tremendous challenge for the industry will include the skilled employees needed to support operations. The pandemic resulted in global travel shut down. Now its return back in terms of practical guidance through ICAO, IATA and ACI representatives contributed with the world health organization initial guidelines operational consideration for managing cold-19 cases or out brake in aviation. the operation has started with many practical guidelines on how to manage suspected cases onboard on aircraft, subsequently, the staff are following the rules and regulations of the other countries while accepting the passengers in the flights.
There are lots of restrictions for international travel even though the airlines and airports are following the guideline to ensure the safety and security of the passengers and make sure the passengers are comfortable while travelling. However, time and again the aviation sector prevails. The effects of the covid-19 outbreak Well be felt in aviation for several years to come and hopefully, it will bounce back fully like it always does.
Writer: Diksha Mishra student of MBA, UPES university