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Recorded at CAPA Live October, 14 Oct 2020

Aviation Insiders Panel – Aviation returning to the 1930s

There’s been much talk about the post-COVID industry reverting to the profile of the 1970s, with its reduced traffic levels, the prospect of more active government intervention, smaller networks and higher prices. But in two very important ways the real time frame to compare is the 1930s. There are important lessons to be learned from industry and government behaviour 90 years ago.

First of all, essentially that all borders were closed to foreign aircraft and permission became necessary even to overfly. Secondly, in the earlier, barnstorming days of aviation the biggest inhibitor of commercial air travel expansion was safety and people were unwilling to embark on such a dangerous mode of transportation.

  • How has this previously unimagined level of disruption impacted the aviation industry?
  • What impact has the closure of borders had on international recovery?
  • How will the industry encourage passengers back into the air?
  • Business and corporate travel will be subdued by a combination of weak economic conditions, employer concerns over duty of care, what impact will this have?
  • The industry profile will change drastically, affected by the reduction in high yield business travel, as airlines disappear or reinvent themselves and as opportunistic new entrants appear. What will it look like?
  • Airports will need to adapt, expensively and innovatively: Are they prepared?
  • Are environmental issues still being addressed and can it impact regrowth?
  • The industry will resort to a greater reliance on loyalty programmes, IT solutions and E-commerce – and partnerships.

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