The current global shutdown of borders continues to heavily impact airlines around the world.
There are hopes that the damage caused will not be irreparable as there are already signs that some carriers such as Cathay Pacific are slowly springing back to life.
Qatar Airways have suspended all commercial flights for two weeks from March 18 (Photo by Catherine … [+]
Hong Kong arrivals were heavily affected due to the COVID-19 outbreak but due to smart and sensible measures the island nation which borders China has seen the spread of the virus and fatality rate under control.
Despite this, Cathay Pacific was forced to ground as much as 80% of their fleet due to travel restrictions and waning demand.
A Cathay Dragon passenger airplane takes off as Cathay Pacific passenger airplanes are seen parked … [+]
AFP via Getty Images
However, Cathay Pacific is now adding flights again, particularly to Europe and the U.S.
Boston and New York are seeing flight additions and Seattle and San Francisco are seeing aircraft size upgrades from the a350-900 to the larger -1000 variant to meet demand.
HONG KONG, CHINA – MARCH 06: A Cathay Pacific aircraft takes off on a runway as others park at the … [+]
People were originally avoiding Hong Kong due to the proximity to the outbreak epicentre in China, but now, as the virus is seemingly under control and stricter travel measures come into effect in Europe and the U.S. it seems as though demand to travel to Hong Kong has increased.
The airline said that they “understand that many Hong Kong students and citizens in North America are eager to come home as soon as possible in time for the Easter break.”
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) Airbus A320 planes are parked at the Copenhagen Airport in Kaastrup, … [+]
TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images
Unfortunately, other regions that have not combatted the spread of the virus to such successful measures may see fleets grounded for the next month as measures prevent travel.
Scandinavian Airlines SAS announces today that they are temporarily laying off up to 10,000 employees, which represents 90% of their workforce.
Scandinavian Airlines SAS announces today that they are temporarily laying off up to 10,000 … [+]
AFP via Getty Images
Positively, the SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson said at a press conference: “It is important to say that we do not intend this to lead to permanent layoffs.”
Similarly, Qatar Airways has now followed suit in suspending all commercial flights into Doha for a period of 14 days from Wednesday, March 18.
For signs of positivity and hope, whilst looking for a return to relative normality, watching the developments in Asia which has been dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak for three months, provides some much-needed optimism.