"Coexistence with Corona" How will it change? World Aviation Industry June 4 16:39

Due to the spread of the new coronavirus in the world, an airline company was forced to suspend or reduce flights of unprecedented scale. In line with the resumption of economic activities, we are gradually restarting operations. However, the virus infection is not over, and each company has restarted after taking various infection countermeasures to alleviate the anxiety of its users. We followed the changes in the global aviation industry with the new Corona.
(London Bureau reporter Teruyuki Kurihara, International Affairs reporter Toshiki Ishii, Asian Bureau reporter Hiroki Iwama)

How to take a new plane

How will our air travel be changed by various infection control measures taken by airlines and airports? Depending on the company, the flow is roughly as follows. First, check-in. You are encouraged to complete online or self-service whenever possible. At the airport, you will be checked for fever. At some airports, you may see a person in a helmet with thermography.

And the boarding gate. First, there is boarding information from passengers sitting in the back seats. In order to prevent the crowding of passengers as much as possible, you will be heading into the cabin while keeping a distance with other customers. It is mandatory to wear a mask on board. Some companies minimize inflight service to minimize contact between passengers and flight attendants.

Cabin crew change

And that flight attendant. Some places have changed dramatically. Philippine Airlines has decided to wear uniforms, face shields, masks and gloves with protective clothing. Three new uniforms are available, including white and light blue. Three colors, red, blue and yellow, which are also used in the company logo, are applied around the shoulder.

It protects flight attendants from infection and reduces the risk of infection for passengers. The cost is JPY 2,100 per set including protective clothing type uniform and face shield. The company has already prepared hundreds of clothes.

Cielo Villaruna
“By adopting protective clothing as a uniform, you can make our customers think that our flight is safe and comfortable. Safety is the key to the operation and in order to gain the trust of the user. It also serves as a selling point, which is beneficial for our business as well.''

Is the economy like a private room?

The seats on the plane may also change. As a measure against infection, some manufacturers have begun to create seats different from the past. The seats being developed by Avio Interiors in Italy have transparent partitions installed in all three rows of seats. The feature is that only the central seat is seated in the opposite direction to the left and right guests.

It means that no matter which seat you sit in, you will be as isolated as possible from other guests in front, back, left and right. The manufacturer is currently sending prototypes to the airlines with which it deals, seeking opinions, verifying the effects and safety, and aiming for commercialization.

Paolo Drago CEO
"I can't stay in my mask all the time, especially when it comes to long flights. I think partitioning the seats can reduce the risk of infection."

Travel to a city that has suppressed infection

As the demand for air passengers has fallen sharply, some major overseas destinations, such as the major Thai Airways International, have reached a dead end. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that it will take four years for international passenger demand to return to last year's levels.

Under these circumstances, there are also movements to try to find a way to develop routes to cities that are relatively successful in controlling the spread of infections and are expected to be in demand as travel destinations. LCC is Korea where 10 cheap airline companies compete. The Korean government has a policy of assigning the right to operate on new routes secured through negotiations with partner countries to airlines with severe management.

LCCs receive this support in particular, with LCC accounting for approximately 70% of the 46 new routes such as Asia and Europe allocated by last month. Of these, T-way Airlines will be the first LCC in Korea to fly into Croatia and Australia in Europe.

“I think there will be a paradigm shift in travel in the future.” Sogwang, Managing Director Kim, will choose travel destinations based on the fact that infection control measures are in place rather than what kind of tourist spots in that country. We want to overcome this crisis by opening up the market faster, safer and cheaper routes.''

Infection control is the decisive factor when choosing an airline

Up to now, airline companies have been competing in terms of service quality and price in addition to safety. Experts point out, however, that the global spread of infections will change the criteria by which users select airlines, and thus the factors that increase the brand value of each company.

Professor Tozaki
"The future users will select airlines that have proper anti-virus measures. In addition to safety and hospitality, anti-virus measures have been added to the brand value of airlines."

On the other hand, Professor Tozaki said that infection control is ultimately for the user, and the user should have the consciousness to accept the appropriate burden for that. On top of that, he points out that the burden on users may increase due to the increase in fares. Our responsiveness is being tested to see how we will face the age of “coexistence with corona”.

Teruyuki Kurihara, London branch reporter
Joined in 1999
Economic Department, etc.
Now in charge of European economy

International Affairs Reporter
Toshiki Ishii
Joined in 2011
After working at Niigata and Sendai stations,
currently in charge of South Korea and North Korea

Asia Directorate General of Reporters
Iwama HiroshiAtsushi
2000. He joined
the Nagoya station, through the economic unit
in charge of the current Asian emerging economies