This year has been a whirlwind of ups and downs for the aviation industry, from hitting record high passenger numbers at the start of the year to come to a virtual standstill in the wake of COVID-19. Over the months, aviation industry leaders from airports, airlines, industry partners, associations, and government have shown remarkable resilience. Quickly, these leaders began to chart a course of recovery, and now, as we look towards 2021, the industry is defining its next chapter. On November 10, FlightPlan: Strategies for Recovery, will highlight the voices of these leaders and share the next steps to recovery.

We recently reached out to Inmarsat Aviation’s Renata Carcassi, Director of Marketing and Communications, about the upcoming FlightPlan event and what will be shared with attendees. As one of the producers of the event, she shared that the agenda has been designed to answer questions about recovery strategies and technologies that have emerged as well as innovations being implemented, and will reveal the results from one of the largest passenger confidence surveys that have been completed since the global pandemic.

Connected Aviation Today (CAT) Editors: How will this upcoming FlightPlan event differ from the “Charting a Course for the Future” event that took place earlier this year?

Carcassi: When we hosted the first FlightPlan online broadcast back in April, we were still in the early weeks of the COVID-19 crisis. FlightPlan: Charting a Course for the Future convened a global audience of thousands from across the aviation industry at a time of great uncertainty.

Six months in, the industry is still facing ongoing challenges but there is also a greater sense of clarity about the situation. This is the backdrop for FlightPlan: Strategies for Recovery. While the format remains familiar – connecting leaders on a digital stage through interviews, panels, news updates, live discussion, and audience interaction – the discussion has moved on and will therefore focus on solutions, rather than problems. 

What has the industry learned from the crisis so far? What strategies are emerging to guide recovery? Which innovations give the greatest cause for optimism? What does aviation’s next chapter have in store? At FlightPlan, we’ll get to the heart of these questions and more.

We are delighted that our friends at Collins Aerospace will be joining us once again for the broadcast, together with leading industry organizations such as APEX, IATA, and CAPA, plus executives from airlines such as Aeromexico, Air China, Air France, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, easyJet, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Oman Air, and Virgin Atlantic. The response has, once again, been fantastic.

CAT Editors:  What has the aviation industry learned in the past months about the road to recovery?

Carcassi: No industry has been hit as hard or as deeply by COVID-19 as commercial aviation. And yet, the last six months have proven that this is a sector more resilient than most. In the face of many challenges, the industry has been quick to adopt changes to make air travel viable and safe – from an overhaul of inflight cleaning protocols to the rapid implementation of airport testing around the world.

A particularly important lesson has been the importance of collaboration. Only by working together has the industry been able to drive critical changes through at pace, which is why it’s more important than ever to share knowledge and ideas as we move into the recovery phase.

CAT Editors: What technologies or innovations do you believe will help boost passenger confidence?

Carcassi: At FlightPlan, we’ll be sharing the results of our new Passenger Confidence Tracker – the biggest global survey of passenger confidence since the COVID-19 pandemic began. It has been commissioned by Inmarsat and carried out by market research company Yonder. Almost 10,000 people participated in the survey from across the world and the findings are an eye-opener. We don’t want to reveal too much right now, but the results show a clear need for digital services to boost passenger confidence throughout the journey.

CAT Editors: As we look into 2021, what will the next chapter of aviation recovery look like?

Carcassi: We’ll be looking to experts, commentators, and leaders on November 10th to share their perspectives on this burning question – and expect to hear many different views on where aviation recovery is headed in the next 12 months. That said, at Inmarsat, we’re confident that 2021 will see the beginnings of a strong recovery for the sector, with digitization at its heart. Our Passenger Confidence Tracker reveals some interesting insights about changing passenger attitudes, making clear that the aviation industry will need to adapt and differentiate if it is to thrive. However, it also tells us when passengers believe they’ll be ready to fly again and paints an encouraging picture for airlines looking into the new year.

Shany Seawright

About Shany Seawright

A senior executive at Strategic Communications Group and Managing Editor of Connected Aviation Today, as well as other publications, Seawright oversees the editorial direction of the publication and managed the editorial staff.