“In less than 65 days, we have returned to the flight plan levels of 65 years ago. This is extremely bitter, devastating, and painful”. This was the observation
made by Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr when he addressed the German company's shareholders on 5th May.
Last spring, Lufthansa's passenger number was only 1% compared to the previous year. This figure illustrates the scale of the crisis, as well as the gloomy global outlook for the sector. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts a 55% decrease in the number of passengers worldwide compared to 2019, including months when traffic was still at a normal level.
Despite this unprecedented crisis in its intensity, a future without air transport remains unthinkable. For the majority of my students, air travel is the only way to join our campus and to go back to their families; for many, it is a way to discover new cultures, make new friends, and drive global understanding. It also has a strong role to play in support of the global economy and fuel the growth of prosperity. In comparison to any other global crisis, the one we are living in today has a stark contrast in its intensity in the history of air travel evolution. So, can the airline industry be saved? And if yes, how? And, what will it look like after the crisis?