Since the breakthrough of the pandemic, travel restrictions have triggered chaos for airlines and travelers around the globe. Social distancing, sanitizing stations, and nasal swabs have become part of our “new normal” during an era of worldwide crisis. Airline companies such as South- African Airways, Air Italy, and Compass Airlines faced bankruptcy mid-pandemic as they struggled to survive and make it through. These are only a few in comparison to the large list of companies affected by Covid-19.
Many began the year with high hopes, aiming to travel the world, but their dreams were shattered early March last year. Cancellations and postponed flights led to a downfall in the airline industry, with thousands of revenues lost and companies collapsing.
Simultaneously, travelers lost their money and a continuous back and forth exchange occurred between the two parties attempting to find a middle ground. The question is whether people would be comfortable and eager in traveling considering the amount of precautions, tests, and restrictions which are taking place.
Since the second wave is coming full circle, airlines are beginning to place their bets on local travel, taking into account people’s need to get away. In the United States, short distance flights are promoted by deals with very low prices aiming to attract consumers. According to NBC News who interviewed industry experts, there will be a downward shift in traveling. ”
Many business travelers will lower their number of trips, and leisure travelers will shift from ‘hyper-global’ to ‘hyper-local’ travel for the foreseeable future,” said Chekitan Dev, professor of management at Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business in the School of Hotel Administration. “Businesses are connecting with their customers virtually and leisure travelers are discovering the joys of staying local.”
Although it’s impossible to predict how and when the economy will recover, what remains certain is that face masks will be required during travel at all times. Social distancing will be maintained through the whole procedure. Kevin Burke, president and CEO of Airports Council International–North America told NBC News what resulted after the Covid-19. “The pandemic dramatically accelerated the adoption of countless new technologies and protocols to keep people healthy and safe and streamline the entire air travel experience. Many of these changes will outlast Covid-19.”
The CDC has set out a travel planner for people to consider before booking flights. The planner includes, testing and international travel, recommendations by destination, masks requirements, and travelers who are prohibited from entry into the United States.
The Future of Travel
The pandemic is set to brings shifts to airports around the world. Increased security and new screenings are expected to take over offering the traveler a new experience. Experts believe only airline crew and travelers will be allowed in airport terminals, automatically eliminating crowdedness.
Touchless check-in and temperature checks are only a few of the additions that will be made to security check ups. Upon arrival, passengers may need to present immunity passports proving that they have gotten the vaccine.
Even though some borders remain closed, there is still hope for tourism to blossom through travel bubbles between countries close to each other. This will be a good starting point for short distance flights offering airlines and airport workers a breath of fresh air.