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Jakarta Post

Airlines in the middle of coronavirus storm

  • Chappy Hakim and Tommy Tamtomo

    Jakarta

Jakarta   /   Fri, August 7 2020   /  01:00 am
A stewardess of Israir Airlines wearing full PPE (personal protective equipment) prepares for take off from the Ben Gurion International Airport near the central Israeli city of Tel Aviv to southern Israeli Red Sea resort city of Eilat amid the COVID-19 pandemic, on June 16, 2020. (AFP/GIL COHEN-MAGEN )

One of the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic is civil aviation. The global health crisis has forced airline companies to ground their planes and lay off workers. Many are even on the verge of bankruptcy due to severe travel restrictions, if not given government bailouts. Understandably, the travel restrictions and the strict health protocols such as physical distancing, compulsory wearing of masks, health certificates and additional time needed for all the checks for air passengers have caused most people to avoid traveling by air. This in turn has slashed airline revenues and put them in severe liquidity crises. Physical-distancing rules require airlines to initially limit seat capacity to 50 percent. Even though the Transportation Ministry has eased restrictions to 70 percent seat capacity and lengthened the validity of health certificates from three days to two wee...