Holidays 2020: Flight industry impacted worse ‘than after 9/11’, says new study

With the UK, Spain, France and many other countries imposing quarantine rules for people arriving into the country from abroad, it is looking likely that a lot of people are going to be put off holidaying abroad. And while airports and airlines put new safety and sanitation measures in place to ease the minds of their customers, the travel and tourism could be deeply impacted for years to come. Now, a new study has suggested that “border changes” and flight cancellations could be “constant” as countries continue to grapple with the fallout from COVID-19.


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The study by Swiss-based air technology specialists SITA (Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques) is titled “A ‘New Normal’: The changing face of air transport post-COVID-19.”

As the title suggests, the paper details the likely impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the aviation industry and travel sector.

The paper suggests that the coronavirus will “have a far deeper impact on the way the air transport industry will operate in future than previous industry shocks such as 9/11.”

The coronavirus pandemic is described “first and foremost a human crisis” that has impacted millions of people.

The paper also suggests that due to government changes and travel restrictions around the world, there will be “constant” changes to borders.

The paper reads: “Over the past few weeks, as countries scrambled to stop the spread of the pandemic and keep their citizens safe, there has been a concerted and global effort to contain the movement of people.

“We have seen countries shut down their borders and passengers opting not to travel.

“Government rules and regulations for travel will mean border changes will be constant.

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“As we have seen in previous outbreaks such as SARS and MERS, the pattern and speed by which a disease moves around the globe is inextricably linked to the pattern and speed by which passengers move.

“Countries will open up their borders in a controlled manner considering, for example, the health status of passengers at points of embarkation or the ability to easily identify or assist at-risk passengers.”

The paper added: “The status of flights will remain unpredictable and change often.”

SITA also predicts that countries could try to constantly identify passengers who have had coronavirus.

“Countries will open up their borders in a controlled manner considering, for example, the health status of passengers at points of embarkation or the ability to easily identify or assist at-risk passengers.

“This not only includes where they are travelling from or countries visited, but also may attempt to identify passengers that have come into contact with infected travellers.

“We may also see specific regions wishing to allow limited movement within that zone first.”

According to IATA, more than two million flights will have already been cancelled within the first six months of 2020.

The UK Government recently imposed new rules suggesting that most airline passengers arriving in the UK from abroad will have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

All people arriving at airports, ports and on the Eurostar trains will have to provide a UK address where they will be staying and immediately self-isolating for 14 days.

UK authorities will then conduct spot checks on these individuals, with those caught breaking the rules receiving fines of up to £1,000 or deportation.

If, after two weeks, they do not develop COVID-19 conditions then they can be allowed to mix with the general population.

The exceptions to these rules are people travelling from France and Ireland.

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