The airfield at Gatwick Airport is quiet for free on a gray spring morning in southern England. Row upon row of planes remain silent, their engines covered in brightly colored covers for protection.
The only movement across the airport that can handle about 1,000 flights a day is the single, empty airliner being intercepted on the other side of the tarmac as a sign of the devastating effects of the epidemic.
But now, after a year of suspended animation, the 800 800 billion airline industry is facing even bigger challenges as it prepares for unprecedented logistical operations to reopen public transport as soon as the border is reopened. Burning up to 95 95 billion this year for an industry forecast may not come soon.
Gatwick chief executive Stuart Wingate told the Financial Times, “This summer, handling more than a million passengers a month is a major operation that could take several weeks,” Gatwick chief executive Stuart Wingate told the Financial Times.
With one of the two terminals closed, with only 30 flights a day and shops empty, he sought clarification from the government to get the airport ready.
“We need to be as sure as possible about how and when the trip will return as soon as possible,” he said.
A few miles from the secluded exit halls of Gatwick, EasyJet’s training center is a fun activity as it prepares to return to the skies.
The six million pound simulator is capable of almost completely reproducing the demands of an inhuman aviation, uniform cockpit and surprisingly living computer graphics.
For the past year, they have been using 20 hours a day from 30.30 am to 2.30 pm, enabling pilots to maintain experience while flying on an aircraft-based basis.
“We never take people away, we keep them going, from pilots and first officers to cabin crew,” said Mark Farkihar, eJet jet training manager, who spent the morning practicing landing at Lisbon and Vienna airports. “As soon as our passengers are ready to go, we’re ready.”
British Airways has 15 simulators at Heathrow Base, running 24/7 to ensure drivers have worked the minimum number of hours to maintain a license.
Both BA and EasyJet have pilot simulators, through a combination of rotating crews and retaining their licenses by flying a few commercial and maintenance aircraft still in operation.
Similarly, the UK airline control service NATS has been using the simulator to remind its staff of what it looks like to handle heavy traffic directly beyond a few months of calm airspace.
“It’s easy to deal with very little traffic, we don’t have to plan for that. What we need to plan for is how we will respond if North America suddenly opens up, “said Juliet Kennedy, director of operations at NATS.
In the United States, Delta and United Airlines flight attendants avoided farlogs in front of pilots’ eyes to make sure they could meet demand once they resumed flights.
Scott Kirby, chief executive of United, said the airport had entered into an agreement with its pilot union to maintain the stability of existing aircraft to enable faster ramp-ups as a return on demand.
American Airlines has adjusted its pilot training schedule and has now reinstated 2,000 Furlugod pilots.
Farles often forced pilots to train pilots on other aircraft, and the American Pilots Union said the airline’s actions created a training schedule.
Capt. Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the American Pilots Union, said the “penny-wise, pound-fool” changes had “stuck” the airline’s training schedule. About 350 pilots have training to finish them in April.
“We have pilots who are just waiting for training, and there’s no place for that,” he said.
“The decision they have made today to save money could jeopardize future revenue,” he added. “It’s like not having enough seats in the theater and you open the door. Eventually people will go to another theater. “
One of the major challenges is determining how many planes and flight crews need to be scheduled as the epidemic has overwhelmed the airline’s ability to predict future demand.
Crew members signed up to work on a flight to Southwest Airlines about six weeks ago, a flight attendant said.
As demand increased, Southwest added flights after sign-ups ended, offering workers extra pay to work on their holidays.
If a carrier is too ambitious, they risk burning in half-empty planes for more cash. But if they are too conservative, they may miss the recovery.
John Strickland, an airline consultant, said: “The cost burden for the aircraft increases with the restoration of the aircraft, and before any significant revenue is earned.”
Conservation, not known for its conservatism, planned to fly 60 percent of pre-epidemic levels by mid-June this week, but also warned that it could be reduced if borders were not opened in time.
“This is a verdict, I’m not a predictor,” said Michael O’Leary, the airline’s chief executive. “We try to run the business with the best information we have.”
Restarting can cause problems – but it is a challenge that workers will welcome after one year of hibernation.