Air travel not so exciting for the future ?


It was the day I had been waiting for, ever since I saw the four-engined marvel in the sky for the very first time. I packed my bags with excitement and did last-minute checks just before getting into the cab to the airport. Security checks seemed like those spy climax movies and Boarding Passes were going to be my new bookmarks that I would cherish for a lifetime. A warm welcome by the flight attendants accompanied with smiles as they guided me to the seat. And as the boarding gates closed and the plane slowly pushed back by the ground vehicle, the slow hum of the engines coming to life was a pleasant feeling which didn’t fade away so easily. And there began my love for aviation and I am sure today that there are many others out there who feel the same.


But here is a question that has been bothering my mind for a long time. Will Air travel be as exciting and adventurous as it was, given the stringent guidelines of the COVID-19 pandemic?

I mean, Think about it!

The Airline Industry has faced a severe downfall this year due to COVID-19. Many of the major Airline companies have grounded flights and some of them even have plans of retiring wide-body aircraft because of less passenger inflow. Airlines are finding all ways and methods to reduce operating costs. Some regional airlines in Asia are expected to face heavy losses this year. Even world economic events, including the US-China trade war, is having a cascading effect on the international freight trade. It is estimated that 32 million jobs supported by aviation, including tourism, are at risk!

2020 marks a very important year in the aviation timeline. This year marks the 50th year anniversary of the Boeing 747, also called the ‘Queen of the Skies’, which made its commercial debut in 1970. This wide-body four-engined aircraft carried more passengers than any other aircraft, till the ‘double-decker’ A380 was made. Well, this year has also put an end to the 747 program, as Boeing confirmed their final batch of orders for the 747 from airliners.

Before COVID-19, Air travel was more of an adventure, especially for seasonal travelers. The excitement to catch the window seat, the meet and greet of the passenger seated beside You, the aspect of meeting new people along the journey, the aroma of fresh bread and other delicacies served during the flight and the courteous flight attendants doing their best to bring about a comfortable flight experience.

Now, the scenario is entirely different. There has to be a COVID-19 test performed by every passenger before travelling. Now Web Check-In has been made mandatory. Temperature checks are performed before entry into the airport. Social distancing is enforced in the waiting area and even during security checks. The comforting smiles of the attendants are now hidden due to face masks. Ironically, the passengers are to be seated with vacant seats in between. Most reputed international airline carriers now serve pre-packaged food boxes in place of ‘ready to serve’ in-flight cuisine. In the end, the passenger should be self-isolated for 14 days once he/she reaches the destination. Ultimately, the golden era of flight travel is now replaced by a contactless lifeless experience.

What was once an excitement is now a mere doubt for many people to travel and visit places around the world in the near future. Researchers say the pandemic-led guidelines for air travel is expected to be followed until the end of 2021. This has made air travel less fun and more cautious. The pandemic has challenged Air travel to adapt and fulfill its purpose of connecting the world. To all those who are waiting to continue their love for travel and explore new places, let’s hope that the world heals just in time to give us the best days of normal life with no further terms and conditions to apply.

Cheers !

- Christie Jerin Kumar R


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