Six months into the COVID pandemic, the people who have dedicated their careers to aviation – pilots, cabin crew, engineers, controllers, ATM and AIS personnel – have an important message for European Transport Ministers, who meet on 28 Sept: Aviation and its strategic infrastructure, services and people deserve priority attention of European leaders!
During the lockdown in Europe, nearly all passenger flights were grounded, whilst cargo flights delivered essential medical goods. Those sober months of inactivity laid bare and reminded us of aviation’s raison d'être: to connect people and cultures, supply goods, keep our economies running, serve the public interest.
But the crisis also revealed deep structural weaknesses in our industry, created by years of cost-cutting, a generation of industry leaders fond of fueling a ‘race to the bottom’ and authorities struggling to catch up. If those weaknesses remain unaddressed post-COVID, the industry – and the people working therein – will have a hard time recovering and it will simply fail to complete its mission: to serve the public interest.
Returning to ‘business as usual’ after COVID is not an option.