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Coronavirus Impact on Air Travel

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Coronavirus Impact on Air Travel

Old 21st May 2020, 06:27
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The guidance examines each phase of the passenger journey, and specifies the actions that need to be taken or measures put in place in six travel segments: before arrival at the airport, in the departure terminal, when boarding, in flight, in transit and on arrival at the final destination. A separate section focusses on the safety of flight crew members.

“The assurance of health safety is a critical factor for the resumption of commercial air travel,” said EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky. “This protocol is the blueprint for safe air travel, from the moment of arrival at the departure airport right through to leaving the airport at the destination.”

“This is the start, rather than the end, of a process to make air travel as safe as possible from the health perspective, in addition to the technical safety which has until now been the main focus of EASA. The next task is for airlines and airport operators to adapt the guidelines to their individual facilities and operations. EASA and ECDC will continue to offer their expertise in this crucial phase.”
EASA/ECDC issue joint guidelines to assure health safety in air travel despite COVID-19 pandemic
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Old 21st May 2020, 08:51
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As SWBKCD has fairly pointed out, I'll try to keep this to potential impacts on air travel.

Demand: Business - some business travel will always be necessary. Those of you 'zooming' your mates down the road wil have no concept of the challenges of holding multi-stakeholder project meetings in countries where the digital infrastructure can barely support it. Literally banging your head against a wall sometimes. However even I, who prefer the face to face approach infinitely, will be reducing business travel to the absolute bare minimum - I've realized that I can increase my profits by not feeding the airports and airlines. Frankly the whole experience is going to go from a previous 'pretty crap' to 'utterly dire'. Why would anyone voluntarily put themselves through it?
VFR - same applies, vastly reduced numbers but will continue.
Holidays - the big question, and this will afffect airlines and airports more than anything else. My view is that people go on holidays to 'relax' or just have a good time, to see something new or to experience different cultures. Most of that won't be possible in the next year or two. Despite being able to go there - why bother?. Why would I want to go to Spain if I have to wear a face mask all the time I'm not in a hotel room? The whole message coming through is: 'you are not welcome: you are a problem - we don't want you, we just want your money'.
Why would you go to a bar or restaurant when every time you move your chair a waiter or other guest looks at you suspiciously as if you are about to unleash a storm of virus 'droplets' on them? The holiday experience will be so regimented, it would be just crap - better to stay at home - or maybe try that trip to North Korea where you might experience greater freedom and get a better welcome.

Airports - shops, cafes, bars and restaurants will get a commercial pasting - many will become unviable, Airports will find it harder to find tenants for their concessions and certainly not at the previous 'captive market' rents they previously charged. This will change the way airports are funded at a time when costs will escalate. Inevitably the costs will have to be borne by the airlines who will pass the costs on through ticket prices.
Airlines like Easyjet and Ryanair who rely on on-board sales will see that type of income plummet. How can you eat an irradiated cheezy toast brick through a face mask? Aircraft turn round times will be much greater, reducing time in the air, increasing airport parking charges and aircraft cleaning costs.

Flying will become a much more expensive pastime. This too will negatively affect demand because just as it gets more expensive, people will have less money to spend on it. Some airports will no longer be viable without (local) government support. Political pressure will not permit it as it will be seen as a subsidy for wealthy people at the expense of a much greater number of people in genuine need.

All this could change of course if politicians and especially the media turn off their fear game and put some rational thought in to the subject. Social distancing as a policy is not possible in aviation or any other form of public transport. To pretend it is, is frankly dillusional and dishonest and just politicians spouting self-righteous nonsense.

Last edited by FFMAN; 21st May 2020 at 12:14.
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Old 21st May 2020, 11:38
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Lets face it nobody knows what is going to happen this summer.

One minute you hear that Greece wants British tourists to come on Holiday and now its seems they would rather we did'nt, but would allow Germans.

Tui seem to be planning to operate holidays from 12th June, but only if countries will let us in ? The current FCO Guidlines are still no non essential travel, so my question is will major tour operators and airlines be able to operate if the FCO guidelines do not change and if they find a way you will have to either loose your money or Travel ?
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Old 21st May 2020, 13:06
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Exactly. But even then, it's all dependent on people actually wanting to go on holiday in June and July. Surely those pictures of people being stranded and struggling to get home will cause people to not risk it until at least late August or September!
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Old 21st May 2020, 13:19
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The new EASA document is a wonderfully woolly affair – if it had four legs it would probably baa!!

“The guidelines place paramount importance on health safety at every stage of the end-to-end passenger journey.”

Guidelines – in other words: pick the bits you like as it isn’t mandated at this point. Plenty of wiggle room here with phrases like "wherever possible" and "as much as practicable within operational constraints". So if the flight is full, it’s accepted that physical distancing isn’t going to be possible. No foul based on the guidelines.

I’m intrigued by the phrase. “Air passengers and general population have to be assured that filtered air on airplanes is safer and cleaner than many of us breathe on the ground.A great aspiration but I am not sure it really knows how the industry will deliver that assurance. I accept it is all about confidence and that isn't something that can be produced in a set of EASA guidelines.

Overall, this could be a blueprint for getting aviation moving again which will be a massive endeavour. Millions of people’s livelihoods (mine included) rely on making that happen so that makes this a potentially positive step.

I would however suggest that this document plays strongly to the commercial and economic requirements of making that happen which is fine although I have some discomfort that in doing so, it delivers little to the stated “paramount importance of health and safety at every stage.”
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Old 21st May 2020, 17:31
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Originally Posted by LTNman
The police would not need to enter homes at all. It would be down to the individual to come to the front door with their passport. No one is going to hide inside a home if that is where they are meant to be so have committed no crime. Fines could be imposed for those that did not identify themselves. If they were a foreigner a marker could be put against them to ban their re-entry. The threat of house calls would make many comply.
Householder................... nobody of that name lives here, goodbye.
Police show me your ID
Householder ................... no and please get off my property or get a search warrant and I will get my solicitor and neighbours here for your next visit
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Old 22nd May 2020, 09:19
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In reality I wouldn't wish to travel by air until a vaccine that works has been developed and has been supplied to the 7 billion people in the world, or at least to the majority of those in the country I was visiting.

Three big "ifs" in that sentence. Firstly a vaccine that works may never be developed (no SARS vaccine yet after 16 years). Secondly there will never be a time when all 7 billion people are vaccinated, or develop immunity to the virus. Thirdly the country I'm visiting may well not want a visitor from the hotbed of C-19 in Europe.

I'm an old man now and I guess I might just live on memories of travels past rather than travel now. Just as I live on my memories of playing cricket and football, and of.... ahem.... intimacy. Covid-19 may introduce a self imposed age barrier to air travel; over 65 perhaps......
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Old 22nd May 2020, 09:27
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Originally Posted by racedo
Householder................... nobody of that name lives here, goodbye.
Police show me your ID
Householder ................... no and please get off my property or get a search warrant and I will get my solicitor and neighbours here for your next visit
That's not too wide of the mark. My line of work involves visiting households who have had prior notice, in writing, that someone may would be calling around (and no, I'm not a bailiff!!). It is quite common to rock up on a doorstep, knock the door, lights on, TV on, voices from inside, but nobody answers the door. Many people have good reasons for acting this way; fear of crime obviously, but also, if they are fiddling benefits they may fear a visit from the council, or if they have debts, fear of bailiffs or the local loan shark from whom they've borrowed money.

Turn that on it's head and the plod arrives on the doorstep of someone supposed to be in quarantine, lights and TV on, voices heard. Do they assume that the residents are at home and go away? No lights on no sound from inside, do they assume residents aren't at home? Unless they're going to get a search warrant for speculatively for each address they're visiting in a given day, so they can break down the door and demand ID, or sit around the corner and watch the house (which is very poor use of police resources) how are they supposed to make effective checks.

Without employing half the former employees of the STASI, or recruiting spies from the local community who are will to report movements of people in enforced quarantine the government's quarantine system just won't work. Requisition a load of Premier Inns and Travelodges across the length and breadth of the UK place all arrival in them for 14 days and it might.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 11:52
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Originally Posted by Barling Magna
In reality I wouldn't wish to travel by air until a vaccine that works has been developed and has been supplied to the 7 billion people in the world, or at least to the majority of those in the country I was visiting.

Three big "ifs" in that sentence. Firstly a vaccine that works may never be developed (no SARS vaccine yet after 16 years). Secondly there will never be a time when all 7 billion people are vaccinated, or develop immunity to the virus. Thirdly the country I'm visiting may well not want a visitor from the hotbed of C-19 in Europe.

I'm an old man now and I guess I might just live on memories of travels past rather than travel now. Just as I live on my memories of playing cricket and football, and of.... ahem.... intimacy. Covid-19 may introduce a self imposed age barrier to air travel; over 65 perhaps......
With those 3 ifs, no one will ever travel

I've already booked flights in September and October on the assumption that common sense will have replaced the stupidity currently prevailing.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:02
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Air travel with Covid looks very different for a person aged 30 with no underlying health issues, compared to somebody aged 75. What is stupid in the eyes of one person is very sensible to another person
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:26
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Originally Posted by davidjohnson6
Air travel with Covid looks very different for a person aged 30 with no underlying health issues, compared to somebody aged 75. What is stupid in the eyes of one person is very sensible to another person
Post Covid-19 air travel will have gone from being an unpleasant experience to a potentially dangerous one. I already avoid shorthaul flying because of the hassle factor, I doubt that any measures that are put in place now will make me any more likely to fly, though I suppose that leaving the middle seat empty could make the trip somewhat more comfortable, if not a deal more expensive.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:37
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Originally Posted by ATNotts
Post Covid-19 air travel will have gone from being an unpleasant experience to a potentially dangerous one.
The fear of living life will soon become more damaging than the virus with sentiments like that. The reality will likely be that traveling by air is no more dangerous than traveling to the supermarket from a perspective of contracting a virus which I'm sure you'll be continuing to do.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:48
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Originally Posted by The96er
The fear of living life will soon become more damaging than the virus with sentiments like that. The reality will likely be that traveling by air is no more dangerous than traveling to the supermarket from a perspective of contracting a virus which I'm sure you'll be continuing to do.
No so; the longer you are exposed to a person carrying and passing on the virus, the more virus you are likely to ingest, and the greater chance of becoming ill with covid-19, or any other airborne transmission virus. Passing someone in a supermarket who is infectious is far less hazardous than sitting very adjacent to them for 2 hours plus.

As it happens, I am not one of those hypochondriacs that togs up in full medical mask and latex gloves to go shopping, I perceive the risk to be very low; I would however avoid a heavily loaded train, tram, bus or plane without face coverings (not medical masks) until the number of new cases per day has fallen quite considerably and I certainly don't believe that contracting Covid-19 is a worthwhile price to pay for 2 weeks on a Greek island. The UK is nowhere near the level of new cases that I would consider reasonable, get ti down to sub 1,000 per day and then the risk is much lower.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 16:21
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Originally Posted by ZFT
With those 3 ifs, no one will ever travel

I've already booked flights in September and October on the assumption that common sense will have replaced the stupidity currently prevailing.
Well it doesn't seem so stupid to me. I live in the English county with the highest rate of infection per head of population. Three people I knew have died from Covid-19 locally, including one I knew well. Whilst one was in her late 70s the other two were both in their mid-60s with no pre-existing health conditions that they were aware of. It will take time to comes to terms with the loss of my friend, so forgive me if I resent your use of the word stupidity. Time is a great healer of course and, as I said above, IF a an effective vaccine can be developed that would be a game changer.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 17:51
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So, that's June gone, and who is going to book for in July on the basis it will be stood down after the three weeks?
  • People arriving in the UK must self-isolate for 14 days from 8 June
  • across the UK, although how it is enforced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be determined by the devolved administrations.
  • reviewed every three weeks
  • Doesn't apply within the Common Travel Area - Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man
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Old 22nd May 2020, 19:19
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It needed to be done despite the pain. People like Ryanair’s O’Leary don’t care about people just about their business. I thought he put forward weak arguments why the public should be allowed to fill his aircraft during a pandemic.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 20:09
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Originally Posted by LTNman
It needed to be done despite the pain. People like Ryanairís OíLeary donít care about people just about their business. I thought he put forward weak arguments why the public should be allowed to fill his aircraft during a pandemic.
It needed to be done at the start of lockdown when we were allowing millions of people in, even from the source of the epidemic and various outbreak hotspots. With absolutely zero checks or control. Not now when there was a glimmer of hope of a gentle controlled restart for the industry the door is slammed. Sorry to use the age old phrase but the horse had bolted and has done numerous laps of the paddock and now the government decide to close the stable door.

And your o leary point is irrelevant, it won't be people like o leary or walsh or Branson or any other ceo that suffer, it will be the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on this industry to put food on the table.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 20:24
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The same arguments why there should not be a quarantine would still have been put forward in February when I agree a quarantine should have started. The argument back in February would have been there was an over reaction.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 20:33
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB
So, that's June gone, and who is going to book for in July on the basis it will be stood down after the three weeks?
  • People arriving in the UK must self-isolate for 14 days from 8 June
  • across the UK, although how it is enforced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be determined by the devolved administrations.
  • reviewed every three weeks
  • Doesn't apply within the Common Travel Area - Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man
People arriving from the Channel Islands won't need to self-isolate, but don't think you can go on holiday there. Arrivals in the Channel Islands need to self-isolate for 14 days - in Guernsey until at least the 31st August - and probably later.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 20:55
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Originally Posted by LTNman
The same arguments why there should not be a quarantine would still have been put forward in February when I agree a quarantine should have started. The argument back in February would have been there was an over reaction.
And I think that the same argument was the reason why the general lockdown was imposed two weeks too late. Only a trusted political establishment could have taken the country with them.
And of course we lacked the testing capacity and other infrastructure to deliver it.
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