Our latest data visualisation is a really stark illustration of how hard the industry has been hit by the pandemic and with the Government still considering its “traffic lights” system, the much-needed summer on which the industry has been pinning its hopes is starting to look more uncertain and ever further away. We are ready if and when we get the green light for international travel, but we desperately need clarity if the summer is to be saved.
It was the Roman philosopher and naturalist Pliny the Elder who said the only certainty is that nothing is certain. He would never know how many times he’d be quoted over the centuries, and it’s a truth we are grappling with right now as we try to plan our way out of the pandemic.
The world is a very different place than it was 10 months ago. The demands on us as an ANSP and the support our airport customers need are totally unlike what we were dealing with this time last year. Covid has forced us all to adapt and in doing so we’ve learnt some valuable lessons.
In our response to the impact the pandemic is having on the aviation industry, we have prioritised protecting operational jobs to ensure we have the capacity to manage traffic when it returns. However, the industry is not predicting a return to 2019 traffic levels until 2024 or even 2025, which means painful decisions cannot be avoided.
Airports, that up until this year were worried about how they were going to meet the seemingly ever-increasing demand to fly, are now facing the kind of operational challenges most would have never imagined.