This post was written on the 30th of May. Because so many things regarding this subject are changing I put a time stamp on it. At the moment I’m writing this from home (Netherlands). My last flight was about 2.5 months ago. I always thought I was good at sitting still being at home but nothing could be more wrong.
On Instagram, I got asked what I think will happen with the aviation industry? I’ll try to give you my thoughts about this subject.
If you would read the news you would probably noticed that the aviation/travel industry suffered terrible losses in the last 1.5 months (Asia a bit longer). 90% of all flights of KLM are canceled and its almost impossible to travel with the borders of countries being closed. For this reason, this industry is losing a lot of money. Planes on the ground mean it is costing money, they only make money when they fly.
Big companies that didn’t get help from the government were forced to fire a lot of crew. Not only flight crew but think about the people that do the handling of the planes. People that do security on airports etc.
If you want to read about the current aviation news (click here)
So, the future of flying you would ask? It is so difficult to say but I’m pretty sure it will not look the same as we were used to for the last 20 years. We have to think about the separation of people starting with the boarding process. With separation at the gate and people getting to the plane in smaller groups. Maybe keep the seats in the middle empty unless you travel with another person. A lot of companies have to think about their (new) way to make any profit. Also, the mouth covers and gloves will be mandatory for a while I think
Cargo planes are mostly still flying. I think that private aviation like I what I fly will rise first, followed by some airlines that slowly start selling tickets again. It will take a lot of time before flights will get filled up again. The luxury of traveling like we did the last few years will change as well, people will think 6 times before they get into crowded places like busses, trains, or planes. In research, it said that if you are sitting in the range of 2 rows from a sick person you could be able to get sick as well in a plane (read more here) I assume companies don’t want to risk that.
Let’s think about what companies have to do to start up again. Companies will start flying slowly, prices will rise to cover the costs of the flight at least a bit. The flights will not be full of people but partly filled. On flights that are really wanted, there will be more flights. This will slowly increase. That means more business flights than vacation flights at the beginning. Thereafter when governments will reduce their rules the flights will get more full as recreational flights will take place.
It will take about 2 years to get back to normal if we return to normal at all. I’m talking about commercial airlines. IF everything happens as predicted.
For private aviation (business) it will be different. One of the reasons people fly private jets is that they want to avoid crowded areas, like airports. I guess when the borders open up again in Europe there will be a lot of private flight requests. It is now just difficult to stay somewhere because of all the hotels that are still closed.
In the Netherlands, they just showed us how they will reduce these COVID-19 rules per month. Hopefully, other counties will follow soon.
If you have different thoughts about this subject I would love to hear them in the comments below.
Also, check out this video Sam made.