While 2020 was an “epically challenging year” for the industry as a result of Covid-19, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen stressed to lawmakers on Tuesday that the aviation community must press forward on issues such as infrastructure for emerging technologies, workforce, and sustainability to be on a stronger footing once the pandemic eases.
The Coronavirus impact on the aviation Industry
Global traffic figures for January showed that air cargo demand surpassed levels registered in January 2019, marking a complete recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 crisis, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported on Tuesday. January figures also showed strong month-to-month growth over December 2020 levels, increasing more than 3 percent on robust manufacturing output, said IATA.
A new financial analysis by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that the group severely underestimated cash burn estimates for airlines this year and that the industry as a whole will remain “cash negative” through 2021. No longer expecting airlines to return to breakeven cash flow by the fourth quarter, IATA now sees a cash burn range of between $75 billion and $95 billion, compared with a November 2020 estimate of $48 billion.
During the NBAA virtual Flight Operations Conference on February 23, flight department managers and medical experts shared useful information for operating safely during the Covid-19 pandemic and how vaccines may help towards a return to normal operations.
Nearly two months into the new year, the Air Charter Association (ACA) is reporting a record number of new member applications—70 percent more than the same year-to-date period in 2020—driven by effects from the Covid-19 pandemic and challenges arising from Brexit. Membership applications have come from the U.S., Italy, Luxembourg, and the UK. ACA also has approved its first member from the country of Georgia.
According to the Aviation Business Strategies Group's (ABSG) annual FBO Fuel Sales Survey & 2021 Industry Forecast, nearly 70 percent of the North American FBOs it surveyed reported decreased fuel sales last year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and its dampening effect on travel.
Members of Airlines for America (A4A) on Friday pledged to voluntarily participate in a passenger contract tracing program in an effort to convince U.S. lawmakers to relax international travel restrictions.
Aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) spending will remain dampened in 2021, remaining on par with 2020 at least through the first half of the year, industry analyst Brian Foley said. However, Foley, who heads his own industry consultancy, added the latter half of the year should see some improvement.
Business aviation MRO spending dropped roughly 15 to 25 percent in 2020, while the commercial sector experienced a 50 percent plunge, Foley estimated.
A small but growing number of Part 135 operators have jumped into the Covid-19 vaccine distribution effort as rural communities continue to seek support. But much more can and needs to be done on the distribution front, said Ryan Waguespack, senior v-p of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), who added the association has been working to try to facilitate public-private partnerships connecting operators with state and local health departments.
Airbus’s revised prognosis for this year is that the aerospace sector will face more uncertainty, with no prospect of full recovery until between 2023 and 2025. Reporting predictably depressed full-year results for 2020 on Thursday, the European group issued conservative projections for 2021, with aircraft delivery rates expected to be largely unchanged.