The 2019 coronavirus epidemic brought with it a catastrophic snowstorm, which not only affected people’s lives but also negatively affected their survival. Amidst nationwide lockdowns, lack of essentials and massive loss of life, the economic situation became tragically dire in the first few months of the epidemic, affecting major industries around the world.
One of the significantly affected domains was the aviation sector. Even before Covid-19, the sector was risky. However, the challenges facing the airline industry due to the Covid-19 have left nothing to be desired, as the market is facing its worst crisis in decades.
- Almost immediately after the onset of the epidemic, commercial air travel came to a standstill and, in mid-2020, stood at a negligible fraction of aviation in 2019, disrupted Air traffic management.
- According to Airlines for America, about 20 airlines have ceased operations or declared bankruptcy.
- Labor shortages have reached an all-time high, airlines have laid off thousands of workers due to funding shortages, and many more, including pilots, have been laid off due to job insecurity and fears of an epidemic.
- According to the DGCA, when Indian airlines suspended operations for six days in March, passenger traffic fell by 33%.
Faced with the unintended effects of the epidemic, which has had a significant impact on air travel, new challenges have emerged in the aviation industry. Although the market continued to face the problems it had previously faced, even during the Covid, the epidemic introduced a new problem that would redefine the future aviation sector landscape.
Top 6 Challenges in the Airline Market
# 1 Less Available Airlines
Large numbers of lockdowns and severe bankruptcies have almost shut down commercial air travel, making fewer airlines one of the potential challenges in the aviation industry. During Kovid, experts predicted that in the medium term, fewer airlines would operate than the average, meaning consumers would have much less choice to travel.
Although this has increased the demand for some of the existing airlines, the impact of the Covid-19 was again felt in the airline industry due to a contraction in the second wave of commercial air travel. This period has significantly increased demand and supply fluctuations with the recurrence of epidemics and increasing reliance on the development of a vaccine.
# 2 Lack of labor
The lack of revenue at the airport has already led to substantial layoffs, but with the Covid spread more than ever, the airline industry has not been able to retain most of the key staff. Job losses are a significant percentage of the global aviation workforce, leading to financial catastrophe and economic instability. Decreased capacity and increased travel bans lead to labor shortages.
Ferrying passengers and handling airport traffic in the midst of a global epidemic, despite all precautions, seemed to be as risky a task as frontline staff, which could lead to a decline in the number of airline employees. Lack of manpower has also led to flight delays and cancellations – in short, labor shortages have proven to be one of the significant economic implications of COVID-19 in the airline industry.
# 3 Problems with processing
Processing time has increased significantly since the epidemic began, making it one of the worst challenges in the airline industry. The aviation sector has already faced global traffic congestion and congestion problems, but with the arrival of Covid, despite fewer flights and fewer passengers, processing time took much longer than usual.
This extra security can be blamed and Airport security Procedures such as temperature control during arrival and departure, long question at the passport control counter, on-board delays on boarding and deporting delays, and drop-off positions to control security are limited. Additionally, commercial air travel involves continuous examination of health certificates, limited passenger access to airport buses, delays in baggage claims, and other strict enforcement. Clearly, prolonged processing times stood as one of the most problematic challenges in the aviation market during COVID.
# 4 Less international air travel
Decreased foreign air travel is one of the worst effects of COVID-19 in the aviation industry. In fact, experts predict that a growing number of travel bans, as well as periodic lockdowns, will continue to affect the proportion of international air travel until at least 2023. Several countries have banned flights inside and out to reduce the spread of the virus; Prominent airlines subsequently shut down operations – an indication of how COVID-19 has disrupted the airline industry.
By early March 2020, Albania, Angola, Argentina, Australia, the Bahamas, Belgium, Japan, Mexico, Mauritius, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, and several other countries that had imposed one-ton travel bans, saw a huge reduction in air travel. Major air transport routes were closed, and flights scheduled for the next few months were canceled. One of the major challenges facing the airline industry due to the low international travel Covid-19 is that passengers, as indicated by the survey, may choose a travel destination with a healthy future and a fully vaccinated drive.
# 5 Airport traffic changes
One of the worst economic factors affecting the airline industry in 2020 was the most significant shift in airport traffic. The year marked a major stagnation in passenger flow, which has paralyzed airports around the world and led to substantial revenue losses. According to Airports Council International (ACI), the impact of COVID-19 on the airline industry has been catastrophic – removing more than one billion expected passengers by 2020, compared to earlier estimates, indicating a 64.6% drop in passenger traffic worldwide.
Of all the major geographically affected geographies, the Middle East and Europe stand as the most affected, with a massive fall from the projected baseline. The Asia-Pacific region was also hit hard as the source of the coronavirus was China. The region lost 61.3% in 2020 compared to the previous year and recorded a total passenger traffic loss of 2.15 billion in 2020 compared to the expected baseline.
International passenger traffic has dropped to almost zero following global, nationwide lockdowns and travel bans – the volume represents a more than 75% drop in passenger volume in 2019.
The massive rise in airport traffic in 2020 has become one of the major challenges facing the aviation market. Although experts predict that the speed of air travel may increase by mid-2021, it will still be a long time before it returns to the aviation sector. For normality
# 6 Impact on airport revenue
The fluctuating financial situation during the epidemic was undoubtedly one of the worst economic effects of COVID-19 in the airline industry. Without air traffic and passenger-related charges, global airport revenues almost shut down, as was evident with many airlines closing stores. 2020 has hardly shown any flexibility in operating costs. This, combined with large capital expenditures, has proven to be one of the most unprecedented challenges in the aviation industry in 2020.
According to estimates made by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) in September 2020, COVID-19 could cause about 46 million airline-related jobs and a loss of USD 1.8 trillion in economic activity. ACI World claims that prior to the epidemic, the airport industry was expected to be valued at 188 188 billion in 2020. Although due to the Covid-19 outbreak, about 125 125 billion has fallen short of the estimated value – which represents a decline near 2020. 66.3%. In the second quarter of 2020, revenue in the aviation sector fell by 43 43.5 billion compared to the expected baseline.
Where does it go from here?
The year 2020 has proved disastrous for aviation leaders in multiple ways as they tackle the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on the airline industry. Although some definite estimates were made for 2021, most experts believed that there would not be much change in aviation. If anything, with safety protocols and government restrictions, airports can go the extra mile to ensure healthy air travel.
This will lead to an increase in the mounting challenges already facing the airline market due to COVID-19. In short, depending on the increasing / decreasing number of coronavirus cases and its impact on the economy, infrastructure and change of jurisdiction for at least 3 years, progress in the aviation sector may fluctuate over time. Experts predict that 2022 could provide more insight into how to deal with this devastating epidemic and what more needs to be done in the aviation sector in the coming years to prepare for similar events in a huge proportion in the future.