The world is facing a health epidemic of enormous proportions. The outbreak of COVID 19 has forced most countries to seal its borders and impose travel restrictions. This lockdown has caused a significant impact on the global economy, especially in the aviation industry. Airlines had to respond to the increasing domestic and international travel restrictions by reducing the frequency or cancelling flights. Other factors, such as flight slot regulations, forced several airlines to fly empty planes. The reduction in flights and lower passenger traffic has resulted in dwindling revenues for airlines, forcing them to lay off their employees. The measures undertaken by the government and the response from the individual airlines will influence how the crisis pans out. It is also apparent that the pandemic is here to stay and, with it, the fear of travel. Thus, passenger traffic is projected to remain low even when the restrictions are lifted. It is not clear how long the effects will last and how soon the industry can transform and recover. Business experts point out that in order to survive, airlines may have to reduce the size of their fleets and bring in more fuel-efficient aircraft.
EA is not immune to this crisis. It has had to reduce as well as cancel it’s flight operations. However, the airline maintains that the people are at the very core of its strategy as a company. It emphasizes that they try to protect their employees and limit the impact of a global crisis on its workforce. The reduced frequency and cancellation of flights have created the availability of additional resources. To deal with this situation, EA is providing employees with the option of availing leaves or applying for voluntary unpaid leaves for up to a month. The company has put into measures such as providing medical facilities to staff and reducing the capacity to meet passenger demand and implementation of country-specific travel practices.
The research question is to understand the specific steps or measures being adopted by a global leader in the aviation industry like EA in the face of a global pandemic, resulting in travel restrictions across the world. The pandemic will not go away any time soon. Hence, the measures taken by EA has to be sustainable both for the organization and its employees.
It is imperative to understand the impact faced by the aviation industry due to this pandemic. Business experts and analysts have to study changing economic patterns carefully. Since the world has realized that the pandemic is here to stay, the industry has to look at new ways to sustain themselves. COVID 19 has resulted in colossal air traffic and revenue losses. The decline in passengers has been around 5 billion, while the airport revenue loss is estimated at about $100 billion. The broader aviation ecosystem, not just airlines but also manufacturing companies, is suffering huge losses. The need for government assistance in such a situation is essential. Many governments have to provide financial help to preserve operations as well as protect the livelihood of millions. Tax reliefs have to be provided to benefit and preserve the entire ecosystem.