In March and April 2020, when cases of COVID-19 peaked, airlines had to cancel hundreds of flights every day, ground fleets, and try to postpone aircraft deliveries. These rapid changes have massively altered how flights are performed and the way certain services are provided.
One particular side effect of the pandemic is standing in the way of smaller, more efficient airlines . In the long run, it may result in reducing the number of flight frequencies, eventually cutting the number of travel options to choose from. On the plus side, airlines can increase their efficiency, save costs, minimize the impact on the climate and become even more competitive.
Additional COVID-19 prevention measures come at a cost. The standard procedure of preparing a large Aircraft for a flight can be up to one hour longer, considering cabins need to be disinfected, and social distancing has to been enforced among passengers during boarding. The increase in idle time is a potential financial threat for airlines which may force them to adjust ticket prices in order to recoup lost money.
Even though the current market condition shows positive changes for passengers and airlines, certain factors indicate that the airline industry may be forced to overcome several new challenges. With some experts predicting recovery to happen as late as 2024, there is still a lot of time for the industry to adapt and implement new technologies to revolutionize the way we travel.