As COVID 19 has officially been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and cases of COVID 19 grow exponentially here in the United States, many industries have grappled with how to survive in the COVID 19 era. In a time where national emergencies have been declared throughout the United States, institutions and businesses have implemented telework and distance learning measures, and social distancing has become the new normal, the aviation industry finds itself on the brink of a shutdown and with that major economic loss for, not only business large and small but also over a million workers who will find themselves out of a job in the not too distant future.
According to Business Insider, US airlines are preparing plans to shut down, ending nearly all air travel within the US, in response to and due to COVID 19 and the loss in capacity of consumers booking flights. Many airlines have either canceled flights on their own accord or are operating at a loss with flights that are operating essentially empty. Even more concerning is the increasing number of aviation personnel that has tested positive for COVID 19. Air traffic controllers, a vital role in the aviation industry, have fallen ill with the virus and have caused closures in Chicago, New York, and Las Vegas in recent days. Without these essential personnel working, flights will be almost impossible to conduct. The potential of a national closure of all airlines due to COVID 19 would not only affect the economy but also have a negative impact across different industries such as tourism/travel, food, retail products, etc.
There have been different governmental plans proposed to aid the aviation industry during this time in regard to jobs and loans to keep the industry afloat but if essential personnel continue to test positive for COVID 19 the ability to keep the aviation industry alive during this time may continue to slip farther out of reach.