The commercial aviation industry has clearly been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as society begins to re-open and travelers look to rebook their journeys, it’s important to know how industry leaders are responding to valid concerns about traveling in a post-COVID world.
Connected Aviation Today captured a few different stories highlighting commercial aviation’s response to COVID-19 and what both passengers and aviation industry employees can expect moving forward. Here’s what’s happening in the space right now:
Fly Safe, Fly Smart: A4A Shares How Airlines are Protecting Passenger Health
A recent installment of a webinar series hosted by ATCA’s CEO Peter Dumont featured special guest Nicholas Calio, CEO for Airlines for America (A4A), discussing some of the current best practices being implemented across the aviation ecosystem.
Standard health precautions were discussed like face covering requirements and more frequent cleaning of check-in kiosks, but Calio also touched on important lessons learned from this pandemic. “There are very few silver linings here,” Calio reflected when Dumont asked him about important takeaways for the industry. “But I do believe this crisis will breed innovation. There will be a closer look at biometrics, touchless screening of passengers, and bags. There will be innovations that in the end, will make the passenger experience more seamless.”
Read the full story here.
Reimagining the Post-COVID-19 Inflight Experience – from Cabin Interiors and Passenger Wellbeing to Catering and IFEC
A recent post from Future Travel Experience details takeaways from a panel discussion about the cabin experience post-COVID. The panel consisted of Dr. Joe Leader, CEO of APEX & IFSA; Dan Freeman, Director – Payloads and Engineering, Boeing; Akira Mitsumasu, VP, Global Marketing at Japan Airlines; and Fabio Gamba, Director General at the Airline Caterers Association, with moderators Julie Baxter, Editor of Onboard Hospitality, and Jon Norris, Vice-President – Marketing, FlightPath3D.
Freeman started out by laying out the inflight approach to boosting passenger confidence moving forward in phases, with the first phase being the assurance that all the necessary procedures are in place to immediately address concerns. The second phase will be simple cabin additions like hand sanitizers and from there, more robust improvements to help with sanitization like UV lights and antimicrobial coatings throughout the cabin. And longer term, there will be more scalable and sustainable approaches used in the design process that can be more easily disinfected and ensure passenger well-being on a greater scale.
Read more about what these experts had to share here.
3 Tiers of Air Travel Recovery in Airports to Expect Post COVID-19
Chris Forrest, Vice President of Airport Systems at Collins Aerospace, spoke with Connected Aviation Today about air travel recovery post-COVID. “As we look at air travel recovery, the key is to restore confidence in flying, and to do that, we need to restore confidence at the start of the passenger journey, which begins at the airport,” he stated.
In his discussion with us, Forrest elaborated on the three different tiers of technology to expect in airports moving forward in an effort to restore passenger confidence: facilitating a contactless passenger journey, increased health monitoring and alerting, and the leveraging of AI to mitigate airport congestion.
Learn more about the details behind these three tiers here.
Pittsburgh Airport’s On-Hold New Terminal is Getting a Post-Pandemic Design
As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pittsburgh International Airport updated its design process for its pending $1.1 billion terminal and multimodal complex to focus more closely on public health. The airport has tapped its staff, design team members, and public health experts to contribute to the updated design catering to a more cautious traveler.
According to WESA, “Some approaches seek to prevent crowds and long lines, like the kind often found at TSA checkpoints. Hoback said travelers in the new terminal might find themselves receiving the sort of digital notifications restaurant patrons get when their tables are ready.” Minimizing touch points and mitigating congestion will likely be some of the top priorities in designing this new terminal.
Read more about this updated terminal design here.
Major CVG Airline Ramps Up COVID-19 Precautions
According to a recent announcement from Allegiant Air, the third-largest carrier at CVG, all of their passengers must wear a face mask during all phases of travel and are hoping the requirement influences other airlines to do the same.
In a statement from Allegiant COO Scott Sheldon: “We have found that the vast majority of customers wear masks as a standard practice, but this update adds a layer of assurance and addresses customer needs as communities re-open. We had hoped to see a federal mandate to require face masks, so that all airlines could be uniform in their approach, to avoid customer confusion, and to aid enforcement. In the absence of that, we are taking this next needed step in our own policy.”
Additionally, Allegiant continues to provide passengers with a health and safety kit that includes a mask and cleaning wipes and allow passengers to rebook their travel on any flight that is 65 percent full or more.
Read the full story here.
You can learn more about the Contactless Passenger Journey and how commercial aviation industry experts are implementing innovative technology to boost traveler confidence here.