You can understand why airlines here in the UK are appalled at the prospect of people arriving in the UK having to go into quarantine for 14 days. ‘Quarantine would not only have a devastating impact on the UK aviation industry, but also on the wider economy’, was the immediate response from Karen Dee, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association.
There are few if any sectors that have been as hard hit by COVID-10 as aviation. There are no scenarios that indicate a return to anything vaguely resembling normality within the next 18 months, and many believe it will take a great deal longer. Boeing believes it will take up to three years to get back to 2019 levels of activity; Airbus suggests it could be closer to five years. Many airlines will not be able to survive that long, and few investors will see aviation as a must-have sector in their recovery portfolios. COVID-19 has come as an utterly devastating shock to the industry, and one has to feel for the millions of people worldwide whose livelihoods depend on this critical economic sector – and in the wider tourism industry.
In general, I’m becoming less and less enamoured of those who seek out spurious silver linings in the storm-clouds that now surround us. But if there is one sector that really needed a life-threatening shock to its business-as-usual assumptions, it has to be aviation. And that shock might just provide some kind of flight path for the industry’s sustainable future.
This is an excerpt from an article by Jonathon Porritt, originally published on www.jonathonporritt.com