Tuesday, July 7, 2020
banner
Home /  Business  /  Air travel in Gulf begins to gather pace as restrictions ease: OBG

Air travel in Gulf begins to gather pace as restrictions ease: OBG

Air travel in Gulf begins to gather pace as restrictions ease: OBG

Tribune News Network
Doha
As countries within the Gulf begin a gradual easing of COVID-19-related movement restrictions, the revival of the region’s aviation sector has come into focus, Oxford Business Group (OBG) has said in its latest report.
Effective recovery strategies will rely on reassuring passengers that sufficient health and the safety measures are in place, OBG said in the report.
Quoting International Air Transport Association (IATA), OBG said that air traffic in the Middle East and North Africa is expected to decrease by 51 percent, a drop from the February estimate of 39 percent this year compared to 2019.
Meanwhile, an April PwC report estimated that GCC airlines stood to lose $10 billion in revenues if the crisis lasted one fiscal quarter or $23 billion if it lasts for two. As a result, many airlines are looking to cut costs.
Air travel is gradually beginning to re-emerge as lockdowns begin to ease and efforts to reopen economies gather pace, the report said.
As planes take to the skies again, passenger safety and monitoring will become a primary focus for airlines. Strict temperature monitoring and social distancing protocols will be implemented across the Gulf region.
While price and convenience are likely to drive demand for direct flights on the side of passengers, visibly implementing government and health guidelines will also be key to persuading travellers that it is safe to resume air travel.
Since individual countries will have their own requirements for testing prior to entry, airlines are establishing protocols to ensure passenger hygiene.
Occupancy levels are being reduced to 50 percent to maintain social distancing, and distancing will also be enforced for passengers queuing in airports.
Some airport restrooms have also been equipped with a density monitoring system to notify those waiting when it is safe to enter. Several airports now require masks to be worn at all times, with vending machines stocked with disposable masks available at airports across the Gulf.
Hygiene teams are being employed to enforce the proper wearing of masks and adherence to social distancing. Airports will also include thermal screening chambers and sanitising mats.
New measures introduced by Emirates to reassure travellers include the provision of complementary hygiene kits for all passengers and staggered boarding.
Moreover, flights over 1.5 hours will have an onboard cabin service assistant to oversee the maintenance of washrooms. Additionally, all passengers and crew will be required to wear masks and gloves throughout the duration of the flight.
“As air travel in the Gulf begins to gather pace in the coming months, airlines and airports will need to embrace appropriate safety standards and employ marketing strategies to highlight their health and safety priorities,” the report said.
“This will position the region’s players to compete for a more limited number of international passengers for some time, and ensure they are ready to welcome a wider range of travellers as the skies continue to reopen,” it said.

Pages