What does the future look like.


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Hello folks, it’s been many years since I was active here. Life has a habit of rearranging your free time priorities very effectively I found.

I am closing in on retirement from AC, maybe sooner than later if rumours of early retirement packages are true. Pilot’s and Management have recently been offered. 
 

Here are some of my thoughts about this industries future.

After 9/11, we all saw the immense change due to new security measures. I think we will see similar new “medical security”  measure introduced. Ie: Body temp checks, medical clearance to fly, 24 hour contact info mandatory.


Airlines are no longer going to be able to operate “fast turns”. Aircraft are going to require deep cleaning after each leg. Turn times are going to increase. How do airlines models that rely on minimum turns and maximum time in the air adapt/survive. 


Passengers are going to be reluctant to be crammed into economy cabins like sardines. Leisure travel is going to take 12 months or longer to recover. 


Sadly I believe that there are going to be a large number of carriers worldwide that simply aren’t going to survive. 

 

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If the middle seats could no longer be used and if greater distance was needed between seat rows, then we'd have to say goodbye to a major chunk of the industry. Your average Joe and Jane just can't afford the incremental cost increase for their discretionary travel needs.

I suspect that not all of the measures such as distance between passengers and pre-flight health checks will be required forever, but they will be here for a while. At least a year or two.

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I think domestic travel will eventually return to normal over the course of a decade but I think international travel is going to look a lot like it did a century ago with quarantine stations and exclusionary laws.

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Coronavirus: How will airlines get flying again?

By Theo LeggettBusiness correspondent, BBC News
  • 30 April 2020
Aviation is the most global of global industries. It employs millions of people, underpins the livelihoods of tens of millions more, and acts as part of the central nervous system of international business and leisure.

Yet now vast parts of the network have been shut down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The number of daily flights has fallen by 80% since the start of the year, and in some regions nearly all passenger traffic has been suspended.

The industry is in survival mode, with airlines, airports and ground-handling firms all desperate to conserve their cash reserves, while their normal revenue streams have dried up.

Widespread job losses are now expected, with British Airways' parent company IAG announcing on Tuesday that it is set to cut up to 12,000 positions from the airline's 42,000-strong workforce. IAG said it did not expect BA to see passenger demand return to 2019 levels for "several years".

Elsewhere, Easyjet has laid off its 4,000 UK-based cabin crew for two months, Qantas has put 20,000 staff on leave, and 700 pilots at American Airlines have agreed to take early retirement.Even so, attention is now gradually turning to the future, and how airlines around the world can hope to slowly return to something approaching normality.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES Image captionIt remains to be seen how and when currently empty airports can return to normal

There are obvious logistical challenges. Aircraft need to be prepared for flight, and airports made ready to receive them. Schedules need to be drawn up, and staff made available.

But there are also less predictable issues to contend with. No-one can be quite sure yet where aircraft will be allowed to fly to, or what conditions might be imposed on staff and passengers by national authorities.

There are currently around 17,000 aircraft parked up at airports around the world, according to consultants Ascend by Cirium. That represents about two-thirds of the global fleet.

BA, for example, has aeroplanes stored at London Heathrow, at its maintenance base in Cardiff, on taxiways at regional airports such as Bournemouth, and at Chateauroux airport in France.

Even while parked, these aircraft require regular maintenance. Some will have been kept ready for immediate use. Many airlines have been carrying out repatriation flights, for example, or ad-hoc cargo services. But others will take a week or longer to prepare for flight, according to people within the industry.

If all those aircraft were needed at once, getting them ready would be a formidable challenge. However, analysts say in practice this is unlikely to be the case - because most airlines will start off by operating relatively limited schedules, and many aircraft will not actually be needed for months to come.

A further significant issue is the raft of human qualifications needed to allow the industry to function.

Pilots, for example, need time in the air, or in the simulator, to maintain their "ratings", or permits to fly specific aircraft. They also need regular medical checks. Other critical staff, such as air traffic control personnel and engineers, have time-limited qualifications as well.

A flight simulator in FranceImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES Image captionSome pilots may need to spend some time in a simulator before then can fly again

Although many airlines and airports are trying to ensure they still have a core of staff available with up-to-date certificates - those who are involved in dealing with repatriation and cargo flights, for example - others have been unable to continue working.

In the UK, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has already taken steps to prevent a backlog of expired credentials from undermining attempts to get planes back in the air as quickly as possible.

"Due to the extraordinary current circumstances, an exemption has been put in place," a spokesperson said.

"Where possible, we expect pilots to remain current through normal methods. If the exemption is being deployed, an airline must illustrate to us how this is being done safely."

Similar measures have been put in place for other key staff.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES Image captionAirports rely on passenger shopping for much of their income

But while there are clear logistical problems involved with getting thousands of aircraft back into service, and ensuring there are enough pilots and technicians to go around, these are not the main issues keeping aviation executives awake at night.

The real problem, executives say, is the number of different countries that have introduced travel restrictions, and the lack of certainty over when those restrictions will be removed.

"What we are trying to do is have a global restart plan," explains Alexandre de Juniac, director general of the International Air Transport Association. "The main challenge is how and when the different states will lift restrictions to travel."

He believes curbs on travel will clearly last beyond the middle of the year, and some may remain at least partially in force until the end of 2020.

He thinks domestic routes within individual countries will open up first, followed by short-haul international services. Intercontinental travel would probably follow after that, although he admits "that is a point we haven't resolved yet".

One area causing a great deal of uncertainty is the extent to which social distancing will be required when regular flying resumes.

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How will people be separated in airport lounges, in security queues, or in the airports themselves? What tests will be required, and how will they be carried out?This is a commercial issue for both airports and airlines. For example, retail outlets and restaurants provide a lucrative source of revenues for airport operators."Non-aeronautical revenues are really important to airports," says Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association."They enable us to keep down the charges we make to airlines, and ultimately that affects the ticket prices they can offer their customers."We don't want to reconfigure everything in our airports, only to find out in six months' time there's a vaccine and the new measures aren't needed any more."IATA's argument is that whatever measures are introduced need to be the same and implemented in a co-ordinated fashion."We need to avoid the kind of situation that followed 9/11," says Mr de Juniac. "Back then we saw a piling up of different kinds of security measures, and it took a very long time to put it together again in a more consistent way. And we still have different measures."Airlines too could be squeezed. Lufthansa is already operating services where middle seats are left unoccupied in order to allow a certain degree of social distancing on board. EasyJet - which has grounded its entire fleet - says it will do the same when it resumes flying.As a short-term measure, this might help passengers fly with a little more confidence. But it comes at a serious cost.In order to make money, airlines need as many seats as possible to be filled on every flight. "Load factors" are particularly important for budget carriers, which typically fly with more than 90% of seats occupied.But if middle seats are left unoccupied, aircraft will have to fly just 65% full. This might be acceptable for a short period, but according to Mr De Juniac, if it went on for long, "it would certainly change the way in which the industry operates".Ryanair's CEO Michael O"Leary has put it more succinctly, describing the idea as "idiotic".In the UK the government is considering forcing all passengers arriving in the country to spend two weeks in quarantine.The industry association Airlines UK says such a plan would "effectively kill international travel to and from the UK, and cause immeasurable damage to the aviation industry and wider UK economy".Getting aircraft back in the air may prove to be the easy part. Finding people to fly in them could prove more difficult - and some long-term changes to the aviation market are highly likely."It may not be too bad for firms which specialise in holiday travel," explains one tourism industry executive."People still want to go on holiday, and there' definitely still interest in going to short-haul destinations later in the year."But analysts say business travel could be a different matter.High-paying business and first class travellers usually account for a little under a third of the revenues for the industry as a whole. For long-haul carriers, it can be as much as 70%.But there are now serious threats to that trafficThe predicted global recession, the cancellation of major trade fairs and other set-piece events - and even the new willingness of businesses to use online tools as a substitute for face-to-face meetings - could all delay the recovery."I think we'll see a fusing of business models, and airlines trying different things," says analyst John Strickland of JLS Consulting."So you could see a sort of business class-lite, where people get a business class seat and meals, but no access to lounges. So at least the seat is occupied. There's room for a lot of creative pricing."But the biggest problem for the entire industry, as it prepares to get back in the air, is that no-one - at any level - can really be sure what its future looks like.   https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52441652
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NOWHERE TO FLY

The Calgary International Airport was almost deserted amid the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday. Airport traffic dropped by 90 per cent in April, numbers show.

  • Calgary Herald
  • 30 Apr 2020
  • BILL KAUFMANN Bkaufmann@postmedia.com Twitter: @Billkaufmannjrn
img?regionKey=B067QzXmIoceDK7jWuMXGQ%3d%3dGAVIN YOUNG  

COVID -19 headwinds forced passenger traffic at Calgary International Airport to plummet by 46 per cent in March.

But a spokesman for the Calgary Airport Authority said those were high-flying days compared to April and what’s to come in the following months, with flights at nearly a standstill.

“The numbers will show an over 90 per cent decrease for April, there are many days we’re down 98 per cent,” Reid Fiest said Wednesday.

Following modest losses in January and February, the numbers took a dramatic dive in the second half of March as flights, particularly international ones, were virtually halted in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

A predictable blow was the demise of direct Calgary to Beijing flights that were to resume on a seasonal basis this spring, said Fiest.

For now, the airport is forecasting a 60-per-cent drop in traffic for 2020 compared with 2019, which was a record year with 18 million people streaming through the airport.

That would be a loss of 10.8 million passengers and half of the once-projected $400 million in revenues.

“It’s a bit of an eerie place right now,” Fiest said of the mostly deserted airport terminals.

For now, there are no plans to hike passenger fees to make up for the shortfall, he said, noting Ottawa has waived rental charges until the end of the year — an amount that would have fallen anyway since it’s tied to revenues.

“We’re assessing right now and we’ve paused discretionary spending and capital projects,” said Fiest.

“The focus is just continuing to operate the airport safely and securely, and support our airline partners as best we can.”

The airport authority reduced its workforce by a third, while executives and senior managers took pay rollbacks.

AIRLINE LAYOFFS

Its major airline clients have followed suit, with Westjet laying off 1,700 pilots by June 1 and temporarily reducing its staff by half, about 6,900 positions.

Air Canada laid off 16,500 employees but has said they’ll be rehired with the help of federal emergency wage subsidies.

Both carriers are still offering domestic flights, but at a significantly reduced level.

Airports across the country are forecast to lose $1.8 billion to $2.2 billion this year due to the pandemic.

Also rendered a ghost town is the airport’s dining and retail sector, with 80 per cent of operations suspended or shuttered.

“When there are passengers in the terminal, some of them are open but not for long,” said Fiest.

An airport flower shop owner said they’ve been told by the authority that a May 1 reopening of businesses is possible, but even that’s uncertain.

“It’s really a ghost town in here, you hardly see people walking in the (terminals),” said Monica Meng, owner of A Touch of Petals.

“But the airport is helping us with the fixed costs, so I think businesses here will come back when this is all over.”

Early in the pandemic, some staff of those businesses were reluctant to show up for work, afraid of being infected by airline passengers.

The authority estimates demand for taxi and rental car service has been reduced by 90 per cent.

For now, there’s little on the horizon to suggest a timeline for a return to normal at the city’s air hub, said Fiest, adding an economy bludgeoned by the latest oil price crash is sure to be another albatross.

“We’re certainly looking forward to the days of more people in the terminal but that will take some time,” he said.

It’s even possible the virus-induced trend of online conferencing could persist, he said, and eat into travel volumes.

Some blue sky for the airport has been a 17 per cent increase this year in cargo volume, fuelled by COVID-19, said Fiest.

“That’s due to more online orders and personal protective equipment coming into Canada, and we expect that’ll continue,” said Fiest.

The focus is just continuing to operate the airport safely and securely, and support our airline partners as best we can..

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https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/05/united-airlines-to-cut-30percent-of-management-in-october-and-braces-pilots-for-changes-as-well.html

United Airlines plans to cut at least 3,400 management and administrative positions in October as the coronavirus pandemic crushes air travel demand, and has told pilots to brace for changes as well, according to two memos seen by Reuters.

Chicago-based United is among the U.S. airlines that have accepted U.S. government payroll aid that bans job or pay cuts before Sept. 30. However, United and other carriers have warned that demand is unlikely to recover to pre-crisis levels by that date, forcing them to shrink in the fall.

 

The United memos are the first indication of just how much major airlines might downsize due to the health crisis.

“We have to acknowledge that there will be serious consequences to our company if we don’t continue to take strong and decisive action, which includes making decisions that none of us ever wanted or expected to make,” Kate Gebo, Executive Vice President Human Resources and Labor Relations, said in the memo to some 11,500 management and administrative employees.

Affected employees will be notified in mid to late July for an Oct. 1 effective date, she said, while encouraging employees to consider a voluntary separation before that date.

In a separate memo seen by Reuters, pilots were told to prepare for a “displacement” that will affect roughly 30% of roughly 12,250 pilots.

One pilot union official said the group was interpreting the message to mean a 30% reduction as soon as Oct. 1.

 

United sent memos on Monday to a number of work groups about near-term changes and potential long-term implications, spokeswoman Leslie Scott said.

“Travel demand is essentially zero for the foreseeable future and, even with federal assistance that covers a portion of our payroll expense through Sept. 30, we anticipate spending billions of dollars more than we take in for the next several months, while continuing to employ 100% of our workforce,” United spokesman Frank Benenati said in an email. “That’s not sustainable for any company.”

United and other airlines, which only months ago were mapping out growth plans, have parked jets and drastically cut flight schedules in an effort to reduce costs and shore up cash until demand recovers.

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Not the future but right now:

Coronavirus makes US airlines spend $10B a month despite travel decline

COVID-19 is still costing airlines a fortune

Flying private during coronavirus

Set Jet co-founder and CEO Tom Smith discusses the health protocols his company practices before flights and what fares are currently available to customers.

U.S. airlines are collectively burning more than $10 billion in cash per month and averaging fewer than two dozen passengers per domestic flight in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, industry trade group Airlines for America said in prepared testimony seen by Reuters ahead of a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Even after grounding more than 3,000 aircraft, or nearly 50% of the active U.S. fleet, the group said its member carriers, which include the four largest U.S. airlines, are averaging just 17 passengers per domestic flight and 29 passengers per international flight.

DELTA CONFIRMS CORONAVIRUS MIDDLE SEAT RESTRICTION AFTER CUSTOMER'S TWEET

 

download-3.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

Flight attendants talk in a nearly empty cabin on a Delta Air Lines flight operated by SkyWest Airlines as travel has cutback amid concerns of the coronavirus. (REUTERS/Jim Urquhart)

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HLDG. 25.42 +2.67 +11.74%
BA BOEING COMPANY 133.44 +4.79 +3.72%

“The U.S. airline industry will emerge from this crisis a mere shadow of what it was just three short months ago,” the group’s chief executive, Nicholas Calio, will say, according to his prepared testimony.

Net booked passengers have fallen by nearly 100% year-on-year, the testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee said. The group warned that if air carriers were to refund all tickets, including those purchased as nonrefundable or those canceled by a passenger instead of the carrier, “this will result in negative cash balances that will lead to bankruptcy.”

FRONTIER AIRLINES LAUNCHES CORONAVIRUS ‘MORE ROOM’ SEAT OPTION

U.S. airlines have canceled hundreds of thousands of flights, including 80% or more of scheduled flights into June as U.S. passenger traffic has fallen by 95% since March. They are conducting additional cleaning measures and requiring all passengers to wear facial coverings.

Calio said airlines “anticipate a long and difficult road ahead ... History has shown that air transport demand has never experienced a V-shaped recovery from a downturn.”

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES PREPS CORONAVIRUS REBOUND BY TARGETING BUSINESS TRAVELER

The U.S. Treasury has awarded nearly $25 billion in cash grants to airlines to help them meet payroll costs in exchange for them agreeing not to lay off workers through Sept. 30. Major airlines have warned they will likely need to make additional cuts later this year to respond to a long-term decline in travel demand.

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United Airlines Co said Monday it plans to cut at least 3,450 management and administrative workers on Oct. 1, or 30% of those workers.

Also testifiying at the hearing on the state of the aviation sector is Eric Fanning, who heads the Aerospace Industries Association. Boeing Co said last week it will cut 16,000 jobs by the end of the year, while GE Aviation plans to cut up to 13,000 jobs and airplane supplier Spirit AeroSystems is cutting 1,450 jobs.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/money/coronavirus-us-airlines-10b-travel-decline

Todd Hauptli, who heads the American Association of Airport Executives, will also testify.

 
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I dunno....there will be many that say "Why"?

I think they could have done just as well with a big yellow happy face...It too would convey the message written below the vertical Stab..

 

ScreenShot006.jpg.4369977e177a764fda0f29a566906581.jpg

 

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Well the "alphabet" persons will no doubt like it but Air Creebec is certainly  not alone with having a unusual section of livery on an aircraft.

Air Canada, years ago,  had good intentions, but the rendering of Donovan Bailey on that B-767 garnered a lot of  not so flattering comments as well.

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Boeing CEO predicts a major US airline will fold this year and says it will take 3-5 years for industry to recover from coronavirus pandemic

 

Mr Calhoun says that airline traffic numbers will take a long time to recover, perhaps reaching 50 per cent of 2019 levels by the end of the year

  • 1 day ago 
 

The CEO of Boeing predicts that a major US airline will go out of business by the end of the year, and that it will take up to five years before the industry recovers from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking on NBC’s Today Show on Wednesday, Dave Calhoun described the current situation for the airline industry as “grave” and “apocalyptic” — but is more optimistic for aviation in the medium to long-term.

Asked if a major US carrier could go out of business when money from the federal government’s bailout runs out in September, leading to lay-offs, Mr Calhoun said: “Yes, most likely. Something will happen when September comes around.”

 

“Traffic levels will not be back to 100 per cent, they won’t even be back to 25. Maybe by the end of the year we approach 50. So there are definite adjustments that have to be made on the part of the airlines,” he added.

Predicting that the public will eventually return to travelling he said that it was up to the industry to demonstrate the safety of its product and experience.“We believe we will return to a growth rate similar to the past but it might take us three to five years to get there,”

 

Confirming that flying would look very different going forward, Mr Calhoun said temperature checkpoints at airports and travellers being required to wear face masks by new regulations, were likely. He added that responsible behaviour by the public was also important.

In terms of how technology might help, Mr Calhoun explained that plane air circulation systems already replace all the air in the cabin every two to three minutes to prevent transmission of airborne diseases.

Boeing, which has already laid off 10 per cent of its workforce, has been planning medium term production over the next three years and believes there is stability there with a smaller footprint than before the virus.

On investor Warren Buffet selling his US airline stocks believing that people will not fly as much as there are no too many idle aircraft, Mr Calhoun says: “I don’t share the view, I share the near-term turmoil ... Near-term for me doesn’t mean a few months. I believe it’s three full years before we return to the traffic levels we had just in 2019, and probably another two before we return to the growth rates that we had.”

Mr Calhoun took over as CEO at Boeing in January 2020, but has been on the board for a decade.

When asked where the company had gone wrong given the missteps taken in recent years — the tragic crash of two 737-Max aircraft, design problems with the 787, and failures with the space capsule prototype — he said that Boeing has taken a magnifying glass to everything it does to prevent accidents happening in the future.

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2019 was not a typical year for airlines.  2019 was a money maker.  Far from the average year over the last 30.  It will take much loner to get back to the numbers 2019 was seeing.

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