3. possible period of the critical phase of the pandemic for airlines

In this part of our project "Ideas for international airlines during and beyond the crisis". addresses the question "What is the possible duration of the critical phase of the pandemic for airlines?".

The critical phase extends over a longer period of up to two years, as the industry is international. Many regions will not be served for several months - if not years.

A general rethink has already begun with regard to business travel. Many 'traditional' business trips will no longer be made in the future after the pandemic, as experience has shown that video calls and online meetings can largely replace unnecessary business trips - and increase productivity.

The impact of holidays not taken will also be negative, as it is difficult to make up for holidays. And if it were, the reduced capacities would not allow it.

Those responsible must evaluate mechanisms for detecting and developing new ideas via the phases described below - and adapt the resulting innovations and strategies in a targeted manner. These enable the partial compensation of previous failures and the development of new business areas and applications. We describe detailed ideas on this in a subsequent article:

The possible optimum for airlines beyond the crisis - especially with regard to new business areas'.

According to current estimates, the critical phase for the aviation industry may last until October 2020, before easing again in the course of the following one to two years - although not necessarily to the previous level.

The individual phases in detail - dynamics

It seems that things can only start to look up again in aviation once innovative solutions - including those we have described - have been adapted.

These solutions point to the further steps which, taken together, offer a perspective for the further development of aviation in line with the changing spirit of the times.

Before that, it is important for those responsible and decision-makers to be open to new ways and solutions.

Basically, we are dealing with the same time dynamics in aviation as they are in the Taxi- and Education aspect.

The specific time and turnover curve

Time and revenue curve of further development in aviation and airlines.

1. the development to date

This phase describes the development so far in the crisis up to the current situation.

2. the current situation

This point concerns the current situation as we have already described it in detail:


In this phase, there is a certain perplexity with regard to a necessary solution, how exactly one can continue in a plannable manner. No airline was prepared for such a situation in one of the internal scenarios - even if in principle it could have been or even should have been.

2.1 One is open to a solution or any kind of idea that can be implemented.

This is the point at which new solutions and innovations (must) come into play. For those responsible or decision-makers, it is important to include these in their further planning and scenarios.

3. start of adaptation

From this point on, the adaptation and integration of initial ideas and solutions resulting from the preceding phase begin. Implementation takes place in a regular iteration or sequence - also permanently across all subsequent phases.

3.1 First flights & special flights

From this point on, the first flights and special flights are feasible, which will be carried out under special conditions. These will be carried out in accordance with the measures currently known and possible: maximum possible seat spacing, regular disinfection, etc.. In addition, there are the immediate measures we have already described:


Their integration also forms the basis for the further relaxation described in phase 3.5.

This relaxation of pandemic travel restrictions will take effect around mid-June / early July.

The first regular flights may still be handled in an irregular manner until all parties involved (aviation personnel, airport staff, the associated infrastructure, etc.) have adjusted to the new conditions of carriage.

There are still many cancellations, delays and inconveniences for passengers in the first months.

3.2: Implementation stages

This is followed by the step-by-step adaptation of innovative and necessary solutions (including those listed here) in various implementation stages, after their implementation has been validated and evaluated in advance.

3.3 Traditional measures

At the same time, more and more classic measures are being adapted, such as those already implemented initially by the airlines (see above) - and in other industries and areas of society.

For this purpose, airlines should conduct permanent research that looks for suitable solutions, picks them up and then checks their applicability. If something is found to be feasible, then the process of adaptation and gradual implementation takes place. This is then successively extended to the entire fleet.

We assume that this is the earliest possible point in time at which airlines are willing to share their findings with other airlines in order to understandably benefit themselves.

3.4 Further solutions

At that time, other innovative solutions that have been developed in the meantime could be ready for implementation.

The plans and concepts developed up to this point are now also shared with a broad public - and make the future image of aviation understandable and comprehensible. Among other things, they are based on the fundamentals we have outlined, such as a new technical understanding, a new way of thinking about mobility (> "Futuristic Ambience and Travel Flair" will be published shortly) and a civic participation - possibly even a solidarity community (> "Public Innovation" coming soon).

During this phase, the industry will also have to begin to move away from outdated technologies.

3.5 Political clearances

At this point, further political release mechanisms are decided, the implementation of which will be the basis for subsequent increased flight operations.

This step requires the adaptation of further, necessary solutions - as also developed and described by us.

This phase could be initiated - or occur - in August and September.

3.6 Further increase

This phase defines a further increase in aircraft movements in September and October, which continues beyond.

Only towards (the end of) October can one speak of a more or less regular, but still far from 'normal' flight operation. Especially not a worldwide flight operation, as the travel restrictions will be eased country-specifically.

It must be constantly re-planned, adjusted and improved (flight plans, routes, overflight rights of airspaces). A final easing of the situation and a return to the 'new normal' is not expected until winter 2021 at the earliest.

It is unclear whether from this point onwards the achievement of the previous market volume will be initiated again - or whether this will already be the case. At present, it is questionable whether the former market volume will ever be reached again in the old form.

Based on our assessment, this will take years if, possibly up to 5 years. However, it will take at least one to two years for the aviation industry to even get back into that range.

Phase 4

This phase is no longer about managing the pandemic. This is about implementing a possible 'optimum for airlines'. The first innovations, technical and structural changes are implemented in air traffic. A new age of aviation is being ushered in.

Phase 5

From this phase onwards, classical aviation diversified considerably and a multitude of new possibilities for transporting people and goods were gradually developed. These are developed and adapted in a wide variety of ways precisely to the respective applications and goals.

We describe detailed ideas about Phase 4 and 5 in a subsequent post:

The possible optimum for airlines beyond the crisis - especially with regard to new business areas'.


In the next part of our project "Ideas for international airlines during and beyond the crisis". is about the question "The possible optimum for airlines beyond the crisis - especially with regard to new business areas".



Related Posts:

Our 2021 - our joint strategy for the future

UPDATE: We are extending the submission of questions for our collective future strategy "Our 2021" until February 22. The goal is to develop a path out of the crisis for our collective future, which we shape autonomously as people and companies.

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