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Coronavirus Impact on Air Travel

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Coronavirus Impact on Air Travel

Old 30th Mar 2020, 14:21
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The following was posted by ATNotts on the Bournemouth page. It's a fair and realistic assessment which I thought should appear on this page also. Without being called "negative" or a "doom-monger", the effects of coronavirus are here to stay for a long time.

"Totally off aviation, but you may not know that personal finance experts recommend that people have a savings cushion of three months in case something unexpected would happen. The reality is that most people don't have three weeks of cushion. Presently much of the population is going to wind up either on furlough, with just 80% of their income paid by the government, and another tranche will be working but with their income drastically reduced. The only groups that are likely to be unaffected and have the luxury of being able to stash some cash for a holiday are those on final salary pension schemes, or decent annuities, of those working in the public and vital industry sectors.

People aren't going to have the luxury of taking a (foreign) holiday after 6 months of this, and I really can't see it lasting just the three. Optimists really need to take a reality check!.

I can see the commercial aviation industry virtually going back to "ground zero", and the clock being completely reset, with a myriad of new carriers and tour operators rising up, run by senior managers, each in small market segments as we had in the 1960s and 1970, and that they will bit by bit be consolidated in larger, though perhaps not global players. I say this because after this crisis has run it's course there will be far more urgent calls upon government support than supporting leisure businesses; especially after they have been splashing the cash keeping people's heads above water during the crisis."
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 14:34
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I have to agree with the above which then takes us to state handouts to airlines and airports. If companies like Virgin, which makes losses more years than it makes profits needs a handout within days, will it survive anyway when their is a downturn in the market?

No one is talking about when UK restrictions are lifted will the UK allow open borders to countries that still have infections? We have all paid a price for lax borders and should have closed off access to China and Italy from the start.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 15:11
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The striking, and frankly pretty incomprehensible fact is that presently you can arrive in a UK airport on a Middle Eastern carrier having hubbed there from heaven knows where. Even though you might not have originated from a country that is heavily infected with Covid 19 you will in all probability have shared the flight from (Doha) with other people who have originated from more risky points, and consumed the recirculated air for 6 hours, and been well within 2m of other passengers.

That really doesn't sound like a very good way of containing, or preventing further spread of the virus, and the longer this lax situation persists, the longer it will be before international commercial aviation begins it's slow trek back to something like normality. Personally if I were the UK government I wouldn't be going out of the way to repatriate people who have found themselves stranded without a route home, since most of them by now would have exited the UK at a time when the virus was already spreading, and to be honest, the writing was on the wall. It won't be long before Brits (and others) living on the Costas of Spain are bleating about wanting to be repatriated to UK, and why won't HMG do anything for them.

One advantage the UK has over many other nations is that it is (geographically) an island, and as such should have been able to do more, sooner, to protect itself. Sadly it didn't, and so we find ourselves on a similar trajectory to many other nations, both inside and outside Europe.
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 15:55
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TBH its the UK that worries me - its up there with the current high risk countries - China is now much safer... have they started temperature checks at LHR? There were none 2 weeks ago when every other airport I traveled through had them....................

The UK Govt could have cracked down in early February -but they were still hoping to get away with it - didn't buy kit, didn't ramp up testing, didn't shut down quickly enough
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 16:02
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I too was shocked at the lack of checks on arrival into the UK.

I am wondering why airlines in the UK don't protest this?

I thought safety was No.1 for aviation?
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Old 30th Mar 2020, 16:17
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Because UK government advice is that this sort of tracing isn't effective or reliable, nor does it make more than a 10% difference. And that it only delays transmission by about 24 hours.
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 00:48
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Their expert advice is always welcome. A country where the PM, the health secretary and one of the highest royal figures managed to catch the virus long before it even spread. Bravo, it did not happen anywhere else on the planet yet. Any advice coming from them must be pure gold.
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 02:10
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Yep - that is a little embarrassing - unless you consider the flattening to be a policy which is working. Ultimately the UK is trying to buy time and keep as many alive as possible. This is about easing the pressure, not prevention.

We are all on the way to getting it. Far from the madding crowd. Later rather than sooner.

Only history will tell which country did it better.

'managed to catch the virus long before it even spread.'

While we are on the subject of 'pure gold' .... is you name Trump by any chance?
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 03:12
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Originally Posted by Islandlad
While we are on the subject of 'pure gold' .... is you name Trump by any chance?
I only wish. I'd have that beautiful hair.
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 03:32
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Not that we can be proud of our politicians... But it seems that having one of the biggest stock of hydroxykloroquine in the world (out of pure luck) and a population where everyone born after 1954 are vaccined with BCG will play a crucial role in fighting COVID. The fat gnome want to show his beloved Europe how to control it. If those two things won't help then we'll go along the way of Italy, Spain et al too.

Last edited by TBSC; 31st Mar 2020 at 06:07.
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 08:43
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I also read another lucky fluke for UK is the unintended consequences of Brexit preparation was some food and other supply chain stockpiling of goods.............
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 08:59
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Just looked at one of the tracker apps and I am astonished just how many planes are flying, allowing their passengers to efficiently spread this virus to yet more people and places.
In our neck of the woods LHR, DUB and AMS appear to have developed a certain immunity to CV-19 - or is it, like I suspect, that the rules apply to everywhere that is not a capital city?
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 11:12
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So the airlines and the airports want a bailout and now so do the handling agents as without them nothing will fly. Who else should be given state aid? Aircraft cleaners, refuelling companies, all the companies where airports and airlines put out tenders?

No one is even thinking about the day the tax payer will have to start paying off all this debt including the wages of people that will be laid off. Not saying it is wrong but nothing is free and one day there will be a day of reckoning and a bill to pay off.

Meanwhile many of these companies will go back to their tax avoidance schemes.
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 12:45
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I have a bit of sympathy for the handlers, who for many years have had their prices screwed down by the airlines. This is partly due to too many handlers chasing each available contract. When I started in the industry more than 35 years ago, nearly all the handlers were airline owned. In the 90s, nearly all airlines sold off their handling operations to specialists, and this resulted in the driving down of Ts and Cs and prices. Margins for nearly all contracts were wafer thin. I am surprised the major handlers have survived even a couple of weeks of this shutdown.
I remember going to a meeting with the then BAA in the mid 90s, when they were proposing to have just 1 handler for each of the then 4 terminals. This got overridden by competition rules, and consequently the market opened up to everyone, with an oversupply of handlers.
I can foresee the handlers being allowed to fail, and ground handling being provided by the airport owners until such time as things get back to something like normal.
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 12:56
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Sometimes they reap what they sow however. They have driven down costs and conditions so far, there is as a result a huge staff turnover and poor morale. After this, they’re going to struggle to get the manpower back as quickly as others.
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 13:29
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I've been balled out a few times in the past when I have stated that even the mighty can fall such as the likes of EZY and RYR.

Oh no they can't screeched the posters - Impossible they said....I still politely begged to differ.

Now we see all we need is a 3 month full-on crisis (3 months at the moment) and the airlines are sadly in meltdown, some perhaps never to recover this decade.
Cash Flow is king - that's the way the business cookie crumbles.

Awful times for now for any business - big or small.
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 17:49
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In 2008, most of the big banks were bailed out. Might it have been better to have let them fail and give the money to the people? That is what is now happening as there has been ten years to think about that response.

Of course CV19 is unprecedented and, as I might have said last week in another thread: Every company and politician is grabbing their Book of Rules. Unfortunately, all the Books are soooo Last Century ...

None of the current crop of CEOs or Politicians remember their history. The Flu Pandemic of 1919/20 killed more than WW1. The Great Depression was caused by "irrational financial exhuberance". For the only certainty is the cycle will keep on revolving. In another hundred years? They'll make the same mistakes.
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 19:02
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Still staggered by how many aircraft are in the air, just looked at Flight radar 24 and approx 5,000 at 7.55 UK time. I know that does not seem many as per normal, but still too many. They are not all cargo flights either. Just have a look yourself at a global view and you can see the bee-hive the USA is ! There are other hot spots visible with so many on approach to airports.

Remember 911 when a visible attack happened in the US all aircraft were grounded almost immediately. Now we have an Invisible attacker which has the potential to kill far more people planes are being allowed to fly WHY ????

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Old 31st Mar 2020, 19:09
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Dublin is being used by Aer Lingus to bring PPE from China and in addition because of its pharma industry there is a significant amount of export of drugs going out plus repatriations occuring.

Not all aircraft are carrying passengers.
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 19:19
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Germany is open about testing 200,000 per DAY, as of last weekend UK had only tested 120,000 in total or twice that of Ireland.
Germany has 70,000 positive cases v UK 25,000, 682 deaths v 1,789.

Both Germany and Ireland are open about following the South Korea model in containment and testing, UK has changed policy a couple of times.
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