Like it or not, our world has changed as a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Chance are you’re in lockdown, living and working from home.
What would usually be a great time to plan or enjoy some plane spotting, or maybe using Flightradar24 to watch some overflights, has instead become a quiet time with barely any planes to see!
No one knows yet how long this will last, but I think we can be sure of a few things changing when the lockdowns and travel bans are finally lifted.
1 Official Spotting Locations May Remain Closed
It will likely take a while before public spaces are reopened, and that may include official spotting locations at airports, like viewing terraces. Social distancing restrictions may remain in place, and airports may choose to keep these facilities closed as cost saving measures.
It may also take time for places like aviation museums to reopen, and some may struggle to survive.
2 Airlines Will Disappear and Downsize
With an anticipated recession and downturn in how much people travel, not to mention the enforced grounding of airline fleets worldwide, we will likely see a large number of airlines closing down.
We have already lost Flybe, and more will surely follow.
Those that survive will likely downsize their fleets to better reflect the demand they have and reduced schedules.
This past week both KLM and Qantas have retired their Boeing 747 fleets, and we’re likely to see more consolidation like this as airlines focus on fewer types and getting rid of more costlier aircraft.
3 Airports Will be Quieter
As a result of the inevitable loss and change of many airlines, the airports we visit will become quieter. There will be fewer movements and fewer new routes starting up.
Many airports will go into a period of consolidation, looking for alternative revenue streams and battling for the routes that do remain.
In the short term, we may see more cargo flights at airports where previously these only made up a small amount of operations.
4 More Stored Airliners
With airlines going out of business or reducing their operations drastically as a result of the downturn in travel, there will be many more airliners parked up in storage.
Naturally the majority of these will end up in desert storage locations around California and Arizona, however I think many will also be parked up at other hub and scrapping airports around the world. Maybe this will become a lucrative side-business for airlines.
What do you think the post-coronavirus world for plane spotters be like?