The airline industry has ever since it came into existence been one of the most important industries in the world. It has contributed the most to the growing effects of globalization in recent times. However, the fact is that it is not perfect. The industry comes with some of its own flaws and, as such, a remake of it seems like a recommendable idea. However, for a long period, the opportunity never presented itself.
Currently, the issue is that it seems 2020 is that year to effect the desired changes, especially in the wake of coronavirus pandemic that has put a lot of activities in many industries on hold.
How is the world coping with the challenge?
Well, for starters, it has to be emphasized that airlines didn’t start the crisis, yet it has felt it a lot. Many airlines have had to put their hands up as they have also contributed to the significant worldwide spread of the virus to the extent that it is today. This, in itself, is quite a disturbing reality but that is not even what this post seeks to establish. The negative end of the crisis is now that a lot of people have come to understand the difficulty that modern life would be facing without the aviation industry.
Even though the talk of the moment is the internet; teleconferences, virtual meetings, etc. meaning everyone can link up, whether you are in your apartment in Washington DC or one of the Chicago hotels. Nevertheless, fact remains that they can only try; they cannot fill the void of actual physical interaction. When you go for a congress or summit or such any other thing, the main focus of the vast majority is not even the presentations being made; rather, we all go for things like networking, spontaneous meetings as well as quickly exchanged ideas and opinions that trigger even new ideas among other things.
What changes are to be effected?
While this whole idea of virtual meetings remains the way forward for now, as soon as the whole crisis is over, airlines will be not just part of the things to first come back but also part of those that are in high demand. However, it is at this point that the question presents itself and that is in what form are they coming back? To be clearer, there are many things that have to be changed and many questions to be answered before the comeback is made.
One of such is the waiver of the 80:20 requirement that has drawn many opinions from different people over time. If this is done, it is nothing but a loss of a huge opportunity. The major challenge will probably only come from the challenge because they are the major beneficiaries of the current state of things in the industry. However, even for them, there will be certain changes much beyond their control as a result of the crisis.
In any case, as we have been saying, the current situation across the world presents us with an opportunity to change a lot of things. To be sincere, there is a plethora of possible changes in the airline industry out there. One of such is the reform in what can best be described as the disjointed, fragmented and mostly out-dated air traffic control system. If you live in certain countries, such as Canada and the US, you might not fully grasp how disjointed and fragmented the air traffic control system can be because it is run nationally and then the countries are big.
However, in many places outside the US and Canada, such as Europe, many aircrafts are still being controlled as if we are in the 1970s. This is definitely even much worse when you consider Africa. The point is the system is out of date and it needs urgent change.
Another point that has to be noted is the ownership and control rules on the airline industry. It will be a better idea if most of these airlines become international companies. This is one more issue that calls for reflection if the industry is to be properly remade this year. Furthermore, the slot rules are another issue that seriously needs to be looked into and changed this 2020. The thing about the rule is that it lets 20% of very expensive and rare assets to waste. Anyway, it is maintainable that if airport charges were not regulated, there wouldn’t be any need for slots.
In conclusion, considering the crisis happening around the world right now, 2020 has presented itself as the perfect time to make the much-needed changes the airline industry deserves. It is hoped that at the end of everything, it wouldn’t be a lost opportunity.