Twenty years after 9/11, a resilient airline industry faces new challenges Challenges

Twenty-five years ago, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 destroyed the World Trade Center. This event is etched in collective memory. American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into Pentagon. All this was followed by United Airlines Flight 93’s heroic passengers fightback. The airline industry and the world are still facing stubborn problems.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration had grounded all domestic flights that morning. All the yellow flags for airlines visible on radar screens went black. However, Covid saw large chunks of its fleets retire, while passenger traffic slowed down due to restrictions and lockdowns.

The Great Recession and 9/11 taught us one thing: the United States and its airline industry will return, but in different states.

“Almost two decades ago, demand similarly evaporated after the 9/11 terrorist attacks led to a nationwide grounding and fear of flying that persisted for several years,” wrote Beth Daley of the Conversation US in 2020.

Daley stated that after a few years with security equipments and bolstered cockpit doors, the airline industry finally recovered and Americans were once more flying in record numbers.

According to IATA, passengers traffic had shown “significant momentum” in July 2021 compared to previous months, but “demand remained low” due to restrictions and lockdowns that delay recovery.

Many predict a record-breaking recovery for Covid and its partners in joint ventures if they are able to get the details under control.

As there have been eight mergers of airlines over the years (including Delta-Northwest (2008) and Southwest-AirTran (2010), the U.S. air industry in 2021 is not the same as the one of September 11, 2001. Consolidation has also run rampant. The Covid crisis saw the U.S. Airlines benefit from federal assistance of $74 billion.

It was wonderful to see American Airlines send solidarity tweets for United Airlines on the 20th anniversary September 11th.

However, if airlines consolidate and they are united against the evils that destroyed that historic day then the United States of America is divided. This can be seen in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 and the epidemic physical attacks on U.S. air staff by mask abstainers.

When then-President Barack Obama declared from the White House that the U.S. had been reunified in 2011, it seems decades ago. Osama Bin Laden, the 9/11 fomenter in Pakistan had been killed and so today’s country-wide red-blue divide seems less daunting.

Some of the mess is left for airlines to handle, as they often have to cope with coach bedlam. According to the Biden administration, Friday’s announcement by the Transportation Security Administration (born out of 9/11 security needs) would increase the fines for passengers refusing to wear masks at airports, trains and planes. However, prosecutions of those who are most serious remain very sparse.

Climate change is a serious threat to recovery and will continue to threaten the lives of millions. If the entire world, including the gas-guzzling aircraft industry, had started to tackle global warming twenty years ago then the ever-increasing impacts of climate change wouldn’t have been as severe.

You can rest assured, however, that the airline industry and cities will continue to be reduced, as well as hotels and business travel, although in slightly altered configurations.

The history shows that.

Publited Sat, 11 Sep 2021 at 23:13.41 +0000

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.