The future of air travel after COVID-19
We will travel again. But definitely not in the same way. Even when borders are opened, travellers will have to get used to very a new way of travelling and interacting with people.
COVID-19 decimated the travel industry, with close to 90% of the world under some sort of restrictive movement. But more importantly it showed us how easily a virus can be transmitted through international and domestic travel.
Trust will be a key factor in getting travellers to start moving again. Airlines will have to ensure that passengers are safe from transmissions, regardless of what destination countries say about the chances of catching a virus or bacteria.
Touchless travel will be a key aspect to safe travel, with airports utilising technology to ensure travellers are in minimal contact with touchpoint. Automation can ensure that passport control and baggage claims are swift and efficient with travellers not having to cram in close proximity to each other. Pre-airport check-ins will also become the norm, with technology such as face recognition and iris scanning becoming more available.
A digital health passport might also come into play with passengers requiring doctors clearance for travel or with comprehensive digital screening by border officials. This would ensure that any potential health risks are stopped before the passengers even get to the airport.