The sudden halt imposed on the aviation industry by the Covid-19 crisis hit the sector hard. In April 2020, two-thirds of the global commercial aviation fleet sat idle on the tarmac, while passenger traffic was down 90 percent year-on-year.
Today, the aviation industry is slowly rebounding, led by domestic travel. As more aircraft return to the skies, a new report from aviation insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) highlights some of the unique challenges airlines and airports face as they restart operations – ranging from “rusty” pilots to insect infestations. It also identifies a number of ways in which Covid-19 is reshaping the sector, driving long-term changes in fleet composition, flight routes and passenger demand.
"The grounding of worldwide fleets during the pandemic has represented an unprecedented event for the aviation industry," says Dave Warfel, a Regional Head of Aviation at AGCS. "Airlines have worked tirelessly to maintain their fleets and train their crews during this long period of inactivity and, as insurers, we take a keen interest in working with them to understand their plans to return to service. Challenges will no doubt emerge as the industry readies for takeoff again. Although it is hard to predict in exactly what shape the aviation industry will return, one thing is for certain – it will have changed."