2020 will go down in the history books as the air transport industry’s most turbulent year to date, with massive fluxes in passenger volumes globally due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Runways emulating plane graveyards served as a visceral reminder of the vulnerable economics of the air transport industry.
Reasons to be hopeful
No territory is left unscathed by the impact of Covid-19 and many western countries are buckling into their second wave response protocols with lockdowns reinstated in the UK, Europe, and parts of the US, much to the fatigue of struggling businesses and citizens.
Despite the bleak travel outlook for the 2020 holiday season in western countries, there are reasons to be hopeful for 2021. Fringe and emerging technologies that were sidelined during the previous decade of industry growth are now being examined with fervent scrutiny to evaluate their efficacy in solving crucial Covid-19 challenges.
For example, Health ETAs (Electronic Travel Authority), where electronic verification of a passenger’s health status is required upon entry to a country, look set to be commonplace by next year. Their usage will become standardised as new Covid-19 vaccines are made available in 2021.