How the airline industry was a helping hand during the pandemic


Over the past century, the world has become a smaller and smaller place. Things that have never been possible before are now our norm. Before 1903, trains were the backbone of the country, transporting drugs to remote locations. Then, on December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright shrunk the world as we know it.

Since then, the world has steadily grown into a closer and more inclusive ecosystem. Other advances in travel have allowed us to be everywhere in the world in 24 hours!

Unfortunately, this is not without its drawbacks. Viruses are among the most common.

People are no longer just “threatened” by the local disease that can afflict their villages. We are now sensitive to all the pathological “predators” that crawl around this lithosphere that we call Earth. The most current, which we all know as the Coronavirus COVID-19[female[feminine, has kept our economy on the ropes as we try to fight this invisible enemy. Every time we get closer to his inevitable eradication, he seems to metamorphose and become Super Sayian.

Certainly, the very system that allowed this pathogen to spread as quickly as it did is also the same system that is helping us all win this long drawn out war. Without the aviation industry, essentials such as masks and hand sanitizers would not have been able to reach remote places around the world. These seemingly insignificant items are key players in winning this seemingly difficult battle.

A vaccine delivery frenzy

The first flight facilitated by the HOPE Consortium between China and Belgium arrived at Liège airport on October 7, 2021, carrying 65 ultra-cold chain freezers for the storage of vaccines, 60,000 syringes and 1,300 safety boxes . This equipment has been delivered to 21 African countries, many of which are difficult to access due to air traffic disruptions and the nature of the goods delivered. As African countries prepare to receive COVID-19 vaccines via COVAX, which require storage at -70 ° C, increasing the capacity of the ultra-cold chain is critical.

Plane ticket

The Abu Dhabi Ministry of Health, Abu Dhabi Ports, Etihad Cargo, Rafed, Maqta Gateway and SkyCell form the HOPE Consortium, which provides COVID-19 vaccine storage and delivery services from its hub in Abu Dhabi. By providing transport, storage, handling, procurement and global distribution services, the collaboration provides UNICEF and COVAX with additional logistics capacity during a time of great need.

Help give back

When flights are canceled, government regulations in Europe and the United States require airlines to reimburse fares, but in many cases airlines have offered travel vouchers or credits that must be used by the end of the year. (The voucher window has been extended by several airlines until May 2022.) Despite calls from business lobbyists to change laws to allow travel credits, the US Department of Transportation has said airlines must reimburse passengers for canceled flights. When tourists cancel their plans due to travel advisories, stay-at-home orders, or other restrictions, travel vouchers are now accepted. This not only alleviates the pressure on airlines, as the funds that were used to pay for the tickets have probably already been spent on things such as salaries, it also gives passengers hope that their dream vacation is not. were not canceled, but simply postponed, like a rugby match in the rain.

Global passenger demand will rebound to pre-COVID-19 levels in 2.4 years (end of 2022), according to the study, with the most optimistic estimate being 2 years (by mid-2022) and l The most pessimistic estimate being 6 years (taken up again in 2026).

What destination now?

While all estimates point to a rebound in demand levels in 2020, opinions on how this recovery will take shape vary widely. Demand for recreation is likely to return to pre-COVID-19 levels, while industry forecasts differ as to when this may occur. There is a larger and more serious debate over whether the demand for business travel will be permanently affected. Even when vaccines are readily available in a specific geographic region, public confidence in the safety of air travel remains a wildcard. As the month-to-month shift in industry opinion since the onset of COVID-19 indicates, no one could have imagined how the consequences of COVID-19 for commercial aviation would be severe and sudden. During this period, U.S. airlines alone spent an average of $ 5.7 billion per month, accumulating a total debt of nearly $ 60 billion.


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