COVID-19 V.S The World
COVID-19 has killed over 38,000 people by March 2020, and along with that, it has damaged various businesses and companies. The industry that has been hit hardest has been the travel industry, in particular air travel.
Airlines were the first to get affected since late-January, when most flights across the world were halted. Even before the COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, airlines had to cut flights to and from China as well as other Asian counties.
The virus quickly spread worldwide, and Europe soon followed the course, with Italy being the first to become overwhelmed by the number of cases appearing, as well as the lives lost. People started canceling their trips and avoiding any kind of travel. People were also avoiding buying tickets for future travel as the outbreak unveiled.
The first airline that faced financial difficulties was the British regional airline, Flybe. The airline was already on the brink of bankruptcy, so the effects of the outbreak became devastating. Flybe entered administration in early March.
The worse is yet to come
As COVID-19 spread, countries all over the world started closing their borders, many airlines were forced to suspend their flights and ground their planes. An aviation consultancy firm mentioned that by the end of May, most airlines in the world would be bankrupt most likely.
US airlines are safer than others since President Trump has signed a stimulus bill of $58 billion to aid them, but despite that, several airlines have already collapsed, like Missouri-based regional airline Trans States Airlines, although the airline had already planned to close in 2020. The “unforeseen impact of the coronavirus” forced the airline to cease operations abruptly
Trans State Airlines also owns Compass Airlines, which is also a regional carrier. Due to domestic flights reducing drastically, Compass will shut down in April.
British low-cost airline, EasyJet, has grounded its entire aircraft fleet, following its last rescue flight on Sunday. Its cabin crew is now on a two-month leave of absence.
Earlier this week, the airline announced that “As a result of the unprecedented travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the implementation of national lockdowns across many European countries, EasyJet has, today, fully grounded its entire fleet of aircraft.
“Over recent days, EasyJet has been helping to repatriate customers, having operated more than 650 rescue flights to date, returning home more than 45,000 customers.
“The last of these rescue flights were operated on Sunday, March 29. We will continue to work with government bodies to operate additional rescue flights as requested.
“At this stage, there can be no certainty of the date for restarting commercial flights. We will continuously evaluate the situation based on regulations and demand and will update the market when we have a view.”
As the world continues to struggle with the pandemic, governments are locking their countries in an attempt to contain the disaster. Despite the fact that President Trump believes that America will be back to work by Easter, the US just passed a grim milestone with a single-day death toll of more than 500, bringing the total number of deaths to over 3,000. All over the country, governors are shutting down states and pleading with the public to stay home.
“I know without any doubt that I’m going to lose colleagues,” a New York frontline hospital worker recently disclosed to the press. After all, business bankruptcy and rescission seem insignificant and rectifiable in comparison to the tragic loss of human life from this dreadful pandemic.