As we move through the evolution of COVID-19 each week airports have a different focus (or different take on where the attention internally needs to be!).
From the initial shock and scramble to get together some impact forecasting, to then throwing this out the window when travel restrictions ramped up, to them being faced with closing airport terminals all together!
Its been a serious rollercoaster for all of us.
Who knew Zoom calls would be part of our daily lives? If there’s any upside it’s a mute button and getting around in shorts and t-shirt most days.
We’ve all been more engaged than ever in webinars, info gathering and tuning into our industry associations. This again is a positive. It would be great to think that we could all be this collaborative post COVID-19 – imagine what we could achieve?!
In discussions I’ve had this week, the current phase of thinking is all about ‘what’s next’.
Some key themes from this week were:
1) Forecasting is somewhat futile but needed
- What could a recovery look like and phasing in of schedules?
- Most agree schedules are likely to be at about 50-60% of pre-COVID schedules by end of 2020.
2) Schedules likely to be re-designed
- Many also agree schedules will not the same as before – how could a phase in look at your airport?
- What were the best performing flights previously (these could be your initial ‘winners’).
- Do you have data to back this up and present a recipe to an airline for a realistic phase in?
3) Consumer Confidence to Fly
- How do we encourage demand by assuring our customers the airport and flying is safe when restrictions are lifted? Opportunity for a coordinated industry campaign?
- Can our industry associations play a role in developing this on behalf of airport members for consistent messaging to the public?
- Traceability and visible safety for the public – using temperature scanners and tracking passenger movements for COVID case reporting? How do we do this cost effectively and consistently across industry
4) Destination Collaboration
- Most agree the focus will be on domestic travel to kick start
- How are our destinations positioned to market to domestic flyers?
- Airport role clarity
We cannot accurately predict when and what schedules will look like but we can stay ahead by looking at the next logic steps to recovery at our airports.
There is still lots we can do!