Turbulence in the Aerospace SectorBy Alessa Flores | Thu, 08/27/2020 - 13:47
Juan Carlos Corral, President of the Queretaro Aerocluster, revealed in an exclusive interview with MBN that the outbreak led to the grounding of a large part of the world’s fleet. Between March and May, some countries grounded up to 90 percent of their fleets. These circumstances will likely cause the commercial aviation sector to shrink by about 50 percent in 2020.
“The industry has to work on recovering passengers’ trust as many of them are still wary of potential exposure to COVID-19 in an aircraft. While several companies state that aircraft are fully safe as the use of HEPA-certified air filters protects passengers, it still is necessary to thoroughly test cabins. The industry still has a long way to go in testing whether passengers are safe from COVID-19 infection if they fly with a sick passenger. Testing will be essential to regaining passenger trust and get them to fly again” says Corral.
Let’s jump into the Week in Aerospace! Here are the highlights of the week:
Sonora’s aerospace capabilities will continue growing with the construction of a new plant from aerospace testing supplier Applied Technical Services (ATS), recently acquired by manufacturing services provider Creation Technologies. The new plant will expand ATS’s 200-strong workforce to 1,000 employees, indicated Claudia Pavlovich, Governor of Sonora, yesterday during an event to kick off the plant’s construction.
With this new UV wand, Boeing aims to introduce a reliable surface-free sanitizing method to be used in conjunction with other sterilization protocols to protect passengers and crews from virus exposure. The company is working with 13 airlines to develop this technology, which is to be produced by a third party.
A common concern for recent travelers is being exposed to COVID-19 inside an airplane, which has led many to be reluctant to travel again in the short-term. With most of the world’s fleets grounded, regaining passengers’ confidence to get them to travel again is a priority for the entire aerospace industry.
According to the International Ultraviolet Association, UV light is currently widely used to sterilize equipment in hospitals, laboratories, chemical plants, factories and offices since all bacteria and viruses are susceptible to UV radiation. Airlines have ramped up their sanitization protocols to ensures that cabins remain COVID-19-free but current sanitization protocols can be time consuming or damage surfaces due to the constant use of corrosive products, which has led many technology developers to look for faster sterilization methods.
Interjet announced the closure of its offices in Colombia after having ceased operations for several months in the country. "Due to the situation we are all experiencing, Interjet took the decision to temporarily restructure the organization that was serving the market in Colombia," indicated Julio Gamero, Commercial Director of the airline, in an interview with El Economista. It should also be noted that the company has undergone a profound financial and commercial restructuring since June 16, when it began to re-establish and expand its routes and flight frequencies.
This forecast means Aeroméxico would have to get rid of 46 aircraft, according to El Financiero. The airline plans to reduce the operation of regional routes and hence the equipment with which it operates these air connections, to favor the use of the 737-800, including the MAX.