The current situation of COVID-19 has majorly hit the aviation industry. Necessary restrictions on air travel to curb the virus spread damaged a sector with declining margins. However, if some facts and adaptations required to be believed, the future offers much promise for flying high and safe. These adaptations can both change the way we travel and revitalize the aviation industry in the future.
Lok Sabha MP representing the ruling party and the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Finance (Indian Parliament), Jayant Sinha, sees some positive trends, in any case. He believes that the way airports operate will change forever. Further, airlines’ safety-screening scenarios will be upgraded and be more beneficial for public health in general. He writes,
‘Testing centres will be implemented at airports and you will have to go through before you board an international flight. The test will take a few minutes. You will be allowed to board a flight if you pass the test. It is likely that these testing centers will have to be placed at every embarkation point (airport, port, highway) and be run by some government agency under strict privacy safeguards.’
It leads to the prospects of streamlining the importance of our health records. Putting these in practice will operationalize the safety aspect of flying high and safe. Health records may become publicly accessible, Sinha argues. He further writes, ‘Today, our credit score is accessible for financial institutions to judge at what price they want to us give us loans. Tomorrow it could be our viral score that will be continuously updated and available for different purposes.’
If we look at the global industry trend, they use Government data to trace the contact history of travelers. It eventually helps in monitoring infected individuals and restrict them from traveling right on time. It will also build faith in the system to bring more travelers back and enable them to fly high and safe soon.
How Government is working behind the scenes to rescue affected companies is also worth noticing. To renationalize the airline, Italy has recently proposed to buy back its bankrupt flagship carrier Alitalia afloat for €600-million ($647 million) loan under discussion.
At the same time, the Government in Paris has also reassured to intervene to protect the country’s economic assets. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire says that “this could include capitalizing corporations or taking stakes in struggling companies.”
The nationalization of airlines might be a boon for the industry for flying high and safe. It is directly related to allied services and businesses. A more financially stable airline may hire and source more from private players than a debt-crippled airline. Further, the Government’s objective of social welfare will help meet the service needs of taxpayers. If the words of Jayant Sinha are anything to go by, flying is set to change, and all airline companies are poised to take advantage of it.