Although social distancing restrictions are being slowly wound back across Australia, there’s still a long way to go yet. After all, public health measures will likely be a part of our lives until an effective vaccine is made available.
Now, industries across the world, including the air travel industry, are beginning to explore how they can make a slow but safe return to a new normal.
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For the air travel industry, this new reality means that a new age of air travel must take shape.
“9/11 changed travel completely with added security checks and longer check-in times,”airline consultant Shashank Nigam, CEO and founder of SimpliFlying, said in a blog post.
“The impact of COVID-19 on air travel will be even more far-reaching.”
So, what will the new age of airline travel look like? Here’s what we know so far.
When will airline travel return to normal?
While some international travel will likely restart next year, things won’t return to normal for a few years.
Last Thursday, International Air Transport Association chief executive Alexandre de Juniac confirmed that overseas airline travel is unlikely to return to normal until 2023.
“We have published today a new forecast about the potential recovery of air traffic, and what we see is that things should come back to normal in 2023, which is later than our previous forecast,” he said on ABC News Breakfast.
“That shows, you know, the importance and the severity of the crisis on air transport,” he added.
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He also confirmed that plans are underway to reboot air travel slowly and in stages.
“We have planned to restart the industry, first by reopening the domestic markets, then regional continental markets, such as Asia-Pacific, or Europe, or North America,” he confirmed.