Inspired by an inevitable surge in domestic travel following the decline of COVID-19’s disruptive influence, global insurer Allianz has categorised the aviation industry as one largely on the rebound.
However, as a rising number of aircraft return to the skies, Allianz’ report highlights a number of potential challenges, including “rusty” pilots and insect infestations.
Allianz also identifies a number of ways in which Covid-19 is reshaping the sector, driving long-term changes in fleet composition, flight routes and passenger demand.
“The grounding of worldwide fleets during the pandemic has represented an unprecedented event for the aviation industry,” says Dave Warfel, a Regional Head of Aviation at AGCS.
“Airlines have worked tirelessly to maintain their fleets and train their crews during this long period of inactivity and, as insurers, we take a keen interest in working with them to understand their plans to return to service.
Challenges will no doubt emerge as the industry readies for takeoff again. Although it is hard to predict in exactly what shape the aviation industry will return, one thing is for certain – it will have changed.”
Earlier this year, Allianz found dozens of pilots were struggling with fundamental skill sets necessary to the plane’s safety.
Major airlines are reported to have developed different training programs for pilots re-entering service, depending on the length of absence.
“At a time of such unprecedented activity, it is comforting to know that the risk management processes that made airline travel safer than any form of travel prior to the pandemic will continue to drive an unparalleled travel safety environment in the post Covid-19 world,” said Warfel.
In conclusion, however, Allianz believes returning sightseeing flights in tourism destinations could lead to an uptick in risk for smaller leisure aircraft, including helicopters, particularly if there is an influx of new pilots unfamiliar with the routes and terrain.