-          Debasmita Das

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that its initial assessment of the impact of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 outbreak (COVID-19) shows a potential 13% full-year loss of passenger demand for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region. Considering that growth for the region’s airlines was forecast to be 4.8%, the net impact will be an 8.2% full-year contraction compared to 2019 demand levels. In this scenario, that would translate into a $27.8 billion revenue loss in 2020 for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region—the bulk of which would be borne by carriers registered in China, with $12.8 billion lost in the China domestic market alone.
In the same scenario, carriers outside Asia-Pacific are forecast to bear a revenue loss of $1.5 billion, assuming the loss of demand is limited to markets linked to China. This would bring total global lost revenue to $29.3 billion (5% lower passenger revenues compared to what IATA forecast in December) and represent a 4.7% hit to global demand. In December, IATA forecast global RPK growth of 4.1%, so this loss would more than eliminate expected growth this year, resulting in a 0.6% global contraction in passenger demand for 2020.
IndiGo will implement salary cuts of up to 25% across its workforce, following global airlines that have been forced to take such steps in the Coronavirus crisis. Elsewhere, AirAsia India’s CEO told staff at its Bengaluru headquarters that all the airline’s fleet expansion plans would be stalled. 
Rival low fare carrier SpiceJet temporarily suspended almost its entire international operations, following GoAir and Vistara. In an email Thursday, IndiGo’s CEO Ronojoy Dutta said he will take a pay cut of 25% from April 1, while other executives above the senior vice president level would take cuts of 20%; vice presidents and pilots would take a 15% cut, while others including cabin crew would take a 5%-10% deductions.

IndiGo spent Rs 3,210 crore on salaries last financial year ended March 31,2019 and Rs 2,285 crore in the nine months ended December 31, 2019. Salaries account for 10-11% of the airline’s total expenses. Last FY’s annual report cited finance chief Rohit Philip's gross salary at Rs 10 crore. He will fall under the category that’s taking a 10% cut. CEO Dutta's salary wasn't cited. His mail Thursday came hours after the airline’s head of flight operations Ashim Mittra told Pilots in a short missive that the company would be taking some tough calls during the next few weeks.
As the range of the epidemic is increased so abruptly and exceedingly, hence coping with this calamity would take a view into the far sightedness. It is required to look into the long term, and decide what is to be done. Fixing the present with temporary fixes, might cost the industry in the long run.
Important Considerations:
·         Many nations have closed their borders to prevent the spread of the disease today and will probably continue to regard foreign travel with far more suspicion than domestic travel. Western governments also will find it harder to restrict domestic travel volumes than international volumes. For similar reasons, customer confidence in international flying will return more slowly than for domestic flights.  Finally, bigger planes have higher trip costs and create more economic risk when demand is depressed.
·         Attractive pricing could eventually stimulate leisure travel as customer concerns diminish.
·         With the evolution of improved tools like Zoom and more distributed teams, travel substitution trends were well underway prior to the crisis. The Covid-19 crisis represents the largest trial-by-use period for creating remote workspaces and virtual teamwork in the history of business.
·         The trends that have made travel one of the world’s favourite leisure activities remain and will likely enable leisure travel levels to continue to grow.  The airlines can help accelerate the recovery by addressing consumer concerns about contagion on aircraft.
·         The demand for wide-body aircraft will fall and the economic case for new wide-bodies like the 777X will become more tenuous.  Narrow-bodies will replace many wide bodies on long-haul routes.

Birds will Flying again
The thick black clouds of coronavirus have enveloped every part of the world, spreading its aura of terror. And until we wait for the clouds to clear and the bright yellow sun rays to touch our lives, we must look for the silver lining. In this case, there is a lot of positivity around us, despite the panic and loss through COVID-19. From dolphins swimming across waters, people coming together to sing, families spending quality time together at the comfort of their homes and nature recuperating from the clutches of pollution. Earth is repairing.
During times of crisis, we just realise that National Boundaries are artificial. What really matters, is the need to be there for each other irrespective, of one’s nationality, religion, gender, caste or creed. So it’s heart-warming to see that global leaders are joining hands, adopting customs, like the Indian way of greeting, Namaste, to combat the deadly virus. China sent its medical experts and supplies to Italy to help them battle the virus. India sent a team of doctors to Iran, and these are just a few of the heart-warming ways, countries are globally working on to curb the pandemic.
‘Poetry, Beauty, Romance, Love, these are what we stay alive for’, this iconic Robin William’s quote from Dead Poets Society, is a reminder to us that during times of crisis, humanity is coming together as people to sing in unison. Coronavirus might have led to people locked up in their homes, but art and culture is what binds people and brings them together at this time. Italy found a novel way to keep positivity alive. People come out on their balconies, sing and play instruments and embrace each other through the power of music. The streets might be empty but the hearts of people in Italy are full of warmth and joy.
“It’s a result of a longer trend, because, if those species were declining, they wouldn’t show up even during the coronavirus lockdown,” Frans Schepers, managing director of Rewilding Europe, explained to “We have to be very careful when we make those connections, although it may be very attractive to draw a conclusion. But of course, animals will behave differently when everything is quiet and they will show up more easily close to cities and villages.”
EU politicians already have the tools to prioritize nature restoration, shows a new set of policy papers co-authored by Rewilding Europe, together with BirdLife Europe and Central Asia, European Environmental Bureau, the Martin Luther University Halle–Wittenberg, the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), and the WWF European Policy Office. A series of maps illustrates the ecological integrity of European landscapes and identifies corridor areas for nature restoration, such as Poland, Spain and Scotland.
“If people release pressure on nature, as we can see happening now, nature bounces back. There is a huge resilience in nature to restore itself, which gives a lot of hope. It’s also good news for people because we depend on nature and everything it provides, such as clean water and clean air,” Schepers said.
Eventually, the way we will deal with the COVID-19 crisis might provide us with some useful lessons on how to deal with global warming.
Schepers commented, “This situation shows us that we can change things if we need to. Climate change and the loss of nature are gradual processes and may be less visible for many Europeans, so it’s hard to point at it because it doesn’t affect as directly as coronavirus is doing. But both show that we have to change our relationship with nature.”

Debasmita Das   [MBA HR]
Manager HR
AirCrews Aviation Pvt Ltd 
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