New research provides insight into how data-driven approach can play a significant role in re-opening the skies

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New research recommends a data-driven and action-oriented strategic approach as an effective tool for the recovery of the airline industry, as it offers the best chance for it to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis and prepare itself for the Post-COVID-19 era.

A recent research study by Dr. Rajee Olaganathan, faculty at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide which was published in the April issue of Global Journal of Engineering and Technology Advances provides a good insight into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the airline industry.

The research reported that the global pandemic COVID-19 has placed extra stress on the aviation sector, specifically on airline corporations. Due to the extended lock-down and restrictions, the year 2020 has been challenging for the airlines. The study findings also stated that “the value of the airline industry decreased to an unexpected level of USD 371 billion loss of gross passenger operating revenues in the United States.”

The report finds that “the air traffic was severely affected in the Middle-East region (-57.35%), followed by Africa (-53.56 %), Europe (-52.61 %), and Latin-America and the Caribbean (-48.4 %). In terms of revenue by regions, the Asia-Pacific region was most affected with 120 billion USD loss and the European region occupied the second place with 100 billion USD loss.”

The report also suggested that the political, economic, social, and technological aspects should be taken into consideration to keep airlines working. Based on the economic situations, governments around the world offered economic support to airlines that are registered to operate within their airspace. In Europe, “the airlines that received government support are Air-France (7 billion euros), Lufthansa airlines (9 billion euros), and British Airways (9.37 billion euros) [20]. The other airlines that received government support are EasyJet (600 million euros), Norwegian Air (12.7 billion euros), Ryanair (600 million euros), and Virgin Atlantic (500 million euros),” the report said.

The researcher examined how data analytics and strategic management can be applied to re-open the airline industry that is being devastatingly affected by the global pandemic. “To recover and prepare itself for the post-pandemic era, the aviation industry has to develop new strategies regarding data collection and sharing, and investing more in the digital technologies. It also requires agility, flexibility, and innovative thinking in every area of the business,” the report said.

The author reported that “the global and regional-scale analysis of the coronavirus progress will help to identify which regions of the world are performing better in terms of recovery. Based on this, airlines can anticipate air travel resumption to the countries that are progressing faster than the remaining regions of the world. Airlines should identify the regions and countries where they can reactivate their operation, and identify the flight demand for each route.”

The researcher says that “this multifaceted approach needs strong coordination, cooperation, and effective communication between different data analytics teams of the aviation industry.” “This type of research has more practical application as it is essential for the recovery of the airline industry,” says Dr. Olaganathan. Now, it is being applied in real-time in Vietnam. This can be extended to other countries as well in successfully opening the airlines and this might aid in reopening the global economy.

Journal Reference:

Olaganathan, R. (2021). Impact of COVID-19 on airline industry and strategic plan for its recovery with special reference to data analytics technology. Global Journal of Engineering and Technology Advances, 07(01), 033–046. /gjeta.2021.7.1.0050


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