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Air Transport: The Airline Crisis

As lockdowns within countries start to ease, yet many borders still closed to international travel with 14-day quarantines in place where travel is allowed, KJM Today looks at the present crisis and the future of air travel.

An almost empty check-in hall at Berlin's Schonefeld

(Günter Wicker/Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH)

It is a quite remarkable facet of life that many people have, up to 2020, taken travelling by air for granted. It is however, understandable since almost everybody alive today has grown up with the idea that flying is a very ordinary and relatively easy way of getting from one place to another. Especially if there is some distance between the two points. Yet it has not always been so, and the development of the air travel industry has always been more complex than most believe.

It is one thing for a UK resident to fly from London to Edinburgh - and it’s further than one thinks; it takes five hours and twenty minutes on average by train one way – there and back, much of the day’s waking hours. That’s time spent on the journey and not either enjoying the sights and sounds of the Scottish city if on holiday or working and doing business. Even so, train travel is well established in the UK so although there has always been a market for UK domestic flying, it isn’t as big as that found elsewhere, like for example between Los Angeles and Boston.

easyJet are among airlines to have re-started flights (Tyler McDowell)