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Approaching Dark Winter: Make or Break for airlines and related industries

Airlines have done the impossible to cut down costs and maintain their personnel. Yet, airlines and related industries are finding themselves in a make or break situation.

Zero hour is upon us with no second stimulus from Congress. Passenger counts average around 650,000 people, although it broke a million passengers a few weeks ago.

Airlines, Hotels, and supporting industries are bracing for a Dark Winter that many can’t go through alone.

The Hail Mary many expected certainly isn’t coming soon.

Airline survival

Airlines can’t expect to continue cost-cutting measures and keep personnel.

Getting to a critical point, Business School will tell you that in order to save a business, personnel must be sacrificed.

Airlines knew this and were the first to sound the alarm. They have been proactive in discussing exit packages with unions, cabin, and flight crews to keep the airlines afloat. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as they needed a second stimulus.

The eternal question: “What would it take to save what remains?”

Business Executives are now asking that question:

How does one continue on without the help of government, to do whatever it takes to retain the most people within a company?

Again, time is the worst enemy for a company. Especially around a pandemic in which airlines are the backbone of many countries that supports many industries.

Fatigue is creating the perfect health storm

Additionally, COVID fatigue has tired people (and understandably so) from a psychological standpoint. People certainly thought that Zoom classes for the kids, working from home for the adults, and even virtual internships took a virtual turn.

However, missing important relationships for business development and camaraderie which people become like productive machines without the human element.

It may work in the short term but in the long-range, we are seeing the effects. This is why I agree with an earlier quote from Doug Parker (American Airlines CEO) saying,

“People will return to flying, it a matter of riding the storm.”

Air Travel is in Turmoil

However, the point of the fatigue is that is creating the perfect storm. The second wave becomes a Dark Winter.

Which is why we haven’t got it under control. The aviation industry survived 9/11, the great recession but has not seen anything like this.

The industry needs people to keep planes in the air, and when they are idle, people tend to get furloughed. For those who stay, it is a double whammy as they are potentially exposing themselves to health risks and a potential livelihood threat.

Furthermore, supporting industries are in turmoil too, like restaurants, hotels, and even ridesharing and taxis. The new normal is threatening modern society’s way to move across the nation and the entire globe especially as it is a microcosm of what happens throughout the world.

Sales across these industries are a fraction and a shadow of what once was. Having repercussions as a result throughout the financial system. Creating a widening gap that might take years in getting back.

Congress is not moving at the speed that people deserve!

Author’s opinion

While Washington D.C. was waiting for the result of a contentious election, Congress should have done more. Unfortunately, the District has one speed: its own speed.

Although that may seem far fetched in a nation divided only with a clear mandate of what do the people want can seemingly Congress get some momentum.

I do sincerely hope that once the hurdle is clear Congress can hear a mandate coming from voters. A momentum that leaves Congress with no choice but to say: We need a legislation piece.

My opinion is we might see surprises after election time but if Congress composition isn’t changed and not achieved clear mandate then a Dark Winter with many entrepreneurs and supporting industries will shrink to the point that many may not survive and even an airline disappearing too.

Airlines will Make or Break during the next months

We have a long and Dark Winter ahead where the airline industry and its supporting industries could be in an induced coma!

Alex Martinez Rivera has painted a picture of what we can expect from the airline industry in the coming months. Do you agree with him that we are in an airline make or break situation at this point? You can contact him here.

Featured image: Unsplash.

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