The COVID rate of infection and impact on the world has been unpredictable having a huge effect on the demand for passenger flights. Whilst flights have been slowly increasing since April 2020 until 31st August 2020, reaching 49.4% of 2019 flight levels according to Eurocontrol, recent figures published on 14th September shows a slight decrease in flight traffic to 46% of 2019 flight levels. It is now clear that the aviation industry will unfortunately not be out of the survival stage this quarter as originally predicted.
Airport Recovery Phases predicted in June 2020
In June 2020 AiQ proposed the route to airport recovery to look like the below in our original blog ‘ COVID-19: The Route to Airport Recovery’So what has happened to this optimistic view of recovery in the summer of 2020?
There is a clearer understanding of the factors that are needed to create confidence and a consistent Recovery:
- Lock Down specified by Governments – the constant change in status creates uncertainty.
- Health Screening/Testing at Airports – will it be accepted by Governments?
- Social distancing and COVID-19 compliance procedures give the public the confidence to enter an airport and to fly – have they been convinced?
- Self-Isolation – will people be prepared to self-isolate?
- Travel Corridors – are they a viable solution?
- Possible Vaccinations – the ‘silver bullet’ is a long way off?
The impact of travel restrictions to and from the UK in Summer 2020 has prolonged the survival phase and created intermittent Recovery for the rest of 2020. The optimistic view for planning is a Recovery in the 1st Quarter 2021 to prepare for a recovering European summer market in 2021 and the possible return of International travel. A sustainable Recovery phase could then lead to some level of certainty in Flight Schedules and a possible return to growth.
COVID-19 Airport Recovery Planning
The only certainty as of September 2020 is that Flight Schedules will be uncertain and subject to rapid change for the rest of 2020 and well into 2021. The focus on airport operations will be on reactive and agile planning to be able to manage the airport’s limited resources effectively.
As airport experts, the team at AiQ are committed to helping airports efficiently manage their ever-changing flight schedules and operations through survival and into recovery. As a cost-saving approach for airports, we are offering a better, cheaper faster and scalable and more flexible Airport Planning Service than traditional in-house planning. Our Airport Recovery Tool, provided as a license for your internal team or used as a remote service by our team to plan your operations, is ideal for changeable demand, modelling the resources you need. The tool is fast, efficiently running 12 key processes from kerbside to stand within 2-5 minutes. Both our Airport Planning service and our Airport Recovery Tool will assist airport managers to make informed and cost-saving operational decisions during these uncertain and predictable times. For a conversation about how we can your airport recovery, contact us today.