Aviation’s Recovery Hinges on ConfidenceBy Emilio Aristegui | Wed, 10/06/2021 - 12:24
The possible contagion in flights is one of the major concerns holding passengers back from flying again, but this is not the case thanks to the efficiency of existing health and safety protocols. The industry’s next challenge is to convince passengers to return to the sky.
“The technical data indicates that there is no problem with the reopening, we need to build trust for people to return. There are protocols that were established in airports and inside cabins, there are studies of HEPA filters that change cabin air every three minutes, while in a hospital emergency room it is every 10 minutes and, in an office, every 20. It is extremely safe to fly,” said Jose Ricardo Botelho, Executive Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) according to A21. The fears of contagion when flying have been a major threat for airlines, but as Botelho says these are not aligned with the reality.
ALTA’s figures show that the region is recovering and is now at approximately 65 percent of the levels recorded before the pandemic. Some airlines have even surpassed their 2019 figures. In Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, removing unnecessary regulations and keeping skies open have been major steps towards the recovery, according to Botelho.
As reported by MB, John Grant, analyst at Official Aviation Guide (OAG) also explained that the industry is recovering: “Total capacity to the year’s end is currently standing at 3.7 billion seats compared to the 3.2 billion scheduled in 2020, a 15 percent increase in what was supposed to be the bounce-back year.”
Mexican airlines are already close to their pre-pandemic levels but the recent downgrade of the country’s airspace to Category 2 represents a major challenge for the industry, as reported by MB. “While the new rating allows Mexican air carriers to continue existing service to the US, it prohibits any new services and routes. US airlines will no longer be able to market and sell tickets with their names and designator codes on Mexican-operated flights. The FAA will increase its scrutiny of Mexican airline flights to the US,” wrote the FAA. The category downgrade might be Mexico’s main challenge to recover its pre-pandemic numbers.