Summer 2020

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Summer 2020

Planning, writing and editing the current edition of ARGS has been a difficult task. As airlines and airports around the world go into lockdown in response to Covid-19, so the world’s aviation industry has come to an abrupt halt.

Anyone who still needs convincing as to what the brutal impact of the pandemic should turn to page six, where data given to ARGS by aviation analysts OAG reveals the effects government-enforced lockdowns have had on key regions’ aviation markets. The numbers make for sobering reading.

As a result, airlines have begun to cut their cloth accordingly and are already making adjustments to their fleets and schedules (page 20).

Nor have airports been idle either. Conversations with airports around the world (page 28) reveal the vital efforts they have made while dealing with the initial impact of Covid-19 by working with airlines in a number of ways, from giving up parking space for aircraft to feeding back their government’s latest advice to their carrier partners.

Equally importantly, they are now working hard on ensuring that when the freedom to fly gradually returns, they are well placed to work with airlines to reintroduce services as quickly and safely as possible.

Nor is this simply a job for route development teams at airports. Our feature on page 38 shows what preparations will be needed in the airports to reopen safely while on page 40, we look at the psychology of returning travellers and consider how best they can be put at ease.

Preparations for service resumptions have also been put in place by ground handling teams (page 48) and it now feels that every part of the aviation sector is ready to operate in a Covid-19 infected world.

And this is perhaps the crux of the issue. The industry has dealt with considerable losses as a result of the pandemic, and more can be expected. However, there is also a semblance of hope forming and while the industry has already undertaken positive and constructive actions in the wake of Covid-19, this could be the biggest one yet.

Using that hope to work together to resurrect the aviation industry, in whatever shape it might take form. In the face of such difficulties, it is the most positive and constructive thing left to do.

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