COVID 19 may have changed the way we travel not just for some years but at least for the foreseeable future. It’s hard to tell how much the pandemic has cost the airlines.
Aviation companies have had to innovate and adapt like never before to stay in business. With various lockdowns easing worldwide, the pandemic’s longer-term effects on the industry are starting to show.
As we head in the direction of traveling in the post COVID era, here are 5 new things we might experience.
Since safety, hygiene, social distancing practices, and other SOPs will be implemented without fail in aviation; the main focus will be on the digitization process, especially the use of mobile applications. This step would ensure the safety of the passengers.
Touchless booking, seamless check-in, and increasing use of face-recognition technologies will be some things that will be seen more in the future. Reservation, airport management, flight operations, etc. all these activities will be encompassed under the digitization process as well.
2. Business get-togethers went virtual
The national lockdown across several countries has changed the way business meetings were held. Most of the people have hopped on to the virtual meet and greet process as an alternative. Moreover, the work-from-home culture has also reduced the need to travel and this is how things seem to work for the near future as well.
Things may not look bright for airlines right now, but it is not going to last forever. Virtual platforms are handy during the pandemic because of their easy access. However, there is no substitute for real face-to-face meetings.
3. More non-stoppage flights
Airlines are opting for long flights without any stoppages as it decreases the chance of exposure to the virus. We may get more of this trend as this also helps airlines by cutting off some unnecessary costs.
According to the CEO of IndiGo airlines, the USA has now started more flights without any stoppage to India. Likewise, Air India has also started nonstop flights to the USA from Bangalore and Hyderabad.
4. Redundancies for pilots
The airlines have not increased their airfares significantly amidst the pandemics. This meant that they had to cut down on the number of staff as the industry is suffering a devastating hit.
Indian airlines are calling back their pilots who were sent on leave without pay as the lockdown restrictions ease and things begin to seem normal. While on the other hand, some major American airlines may announce more job cuts due to lower demand.
5. Change of carrier’s bodies
As stated earlier that more nonstop flights could be seen, airlines are veering towards aircraft that can have longer flying hours with less consumption of fuel. This will start an era of the prevalence of narrow-body aircraft.
A promising aircraft in this regard is the Airbus A321XLR, which has been ordered by IndiGo. The airline can use the aircraft to fly non-stop to Europe.