The airline industry will have to devise new strategies of recovery once they are allowed to freely fly across the world again. Post coronavirus, air travel may possibly change forever. IndiGo, India’s largest airline has already begun putting systems in place anticipating that normal operations may resume soon. The airline will fill its airport buses at 50 percent capacity when service resumes. Further, the airline will also discontinue onboard meal services.
Health protocol to be strictly in place
Other measures that will be implemented will include a frequent deep cleaning of aircraft in order to keep crew and passenger crew safe. Once the lockdown comes to an end in India, the government plans to restart airline operations in a phased manner which will mean that only a few routes will start in the first stage after the lockdown is removed.
“We have always been very safety conscious. Now we should be very health conscious too. We will deep clean our aircraft more frequently, will discontinue meal services for a brief period and run our coaches at a maximum load of 50 percent. We will come out with the new set of protocols very soon,” said CEO Ronojoy Dutta.
Airlines will have to follow health standards
DGCA, the Indian aviation regulator will frame a set of protocols to ensure that social distancing is measured in confined places like aircraft and airport once air transport resumes. Airlines will have to follow all these protocols until the WHO declares the outbreak to be over, something that will take several months. These protocols include mandating airlines to keep middle seat and last three rows empty, barring on-board and duty-free sales and boarding only three rows at one time to prevent crowding.
“In situations like this companies don’t manage to grow for profitability but due to liquidity. Hence our singular focus will be on cash flow. We are examining all our fixed costs and discussing ways to bring them down,” added Dutta.