The continuum of quarantine and travel rules around the world along with impending recession is causing huge damage throughout the travel industry.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) now believes that the Airline Industry will not recover until 2024. When we look back at 2020, we will remember it for the worst year in the history of aviation. The airline industry is at a very fragile juncture, will they be able to turn their losses into a profit in 2021/22 so badly needed to pay their debts.
These projections are not very reassuring for the phobic travellers among us.
While the number of grounded aircraft has fallen, airlines are still flying at very low capacity with some scheduled flights cancelled due to empty aircraft. This really is unthinkable, but presently unavoidable, a reality the phobic travellers among us will not appreciate.
In a bid to soften the blow to business and to ensure a future for the company and it’s employees, British Airways has gone so far as to ask its pilots to take a pay cut of up to 20%.
The demand for travel being so low has created a financial void. Each time there is a glimmer of hope, the virus tugs on the rope and quarantine takes over, stopping our mechanical birds taking off to the exotic wonders of our planet.
On the subject of our planet, looking to the future, Airlines will need to commit to cutting their carbon footprint. If the renewable jet fuels such as carbon-recycled materials are to be successful, airlines must work towards replacing old technology with new.
Perhaps this will somewhat mark the end of an era; BA’s fleet of iconic Boeing 747 have already been announced as heading into retirement — the aircraft having made its first flight February 1969. Technology – and environmental policy – have changed dramatically in the last 50 years. Quite appropriately, now only the most fuel efficient modern fleet will cope with the aftermath of the Aviation’s biggest crises.
This will be a particular blow for the phobic traveller. Anyone who has flown on a 747 knows what a great aircraft they are!
Countries are gradually lifting travel restrictions for non-essential travel, but there are still many entry rules to be aware off. For example, and among many other restrictions around the world, all residents of the UK need to submit a contact form no earlier than 48hrs prior to travel in order to assist with contact tracing.
It is best to keep up to speed with your local news provider, and if in any doubt to check your government for the latest travel advice.
As time passes, the phobic traveller will be wondering when and how to travel. Many people are at an awkward impasse between simmering wanderlust, wanting to keep healthy and safe, and the civic duty of stopping the spread.
Much like the after effects of 9/11, a new chapter is beginning, changing the nuances of how we travel.
For The Phobic Traveller, this is Neda Dorudi
Main image: 747 and 777 at YVR, JamesZ_Flickr, Flickr Creative Commons