It's a grim time for airlines, a grim time for the entire aviation industry.
It's pretty clear that airlines played a significant role in the global spread of the Covid-19 virus. There was a time when it was said that pandemics spread at the speed of sail. Now such contagions travel at close to 560 miles per hour on routes that reach every corner of the world.
I watched a video last week by an airline pilot discussing what social distancing would look like on a modern jetliner. Unless passengers were willing to pay to be jammed into hazmat suits, social distancing would cut passenger loads to about 30 percent. Airlines need closer to 75 percent to break even.
More bad news. Quarantine. We didn't go through a month or two of isolation, social distancing, working from home and doing without our pubs and restaurants and shops so that people could freely come in via our airports and re-ignite our problems.
Tomorrow the British government is expected to announce a 14-day quarantine for airport arrivals whether visitors or returning Brits.
Boris Johnson is set to address the nation and present his roadmap out of the lockdown, and will announce the introduction of quarantine measures for people who arrive at airports, ports and Eurostar railway stations, including for Britons returning from abroad.
People will be asked to provide the address at which they will self-isolate for two weeks upon arrival by filling out a digital form, according to a report in the Times.
Airlines UK said it had been told by government officials that the plan would be in place by the end of the month or early June.
A spokesman for the trade body said: “We will be asking for assurances that this decision has been led by the science and that government has a credible exit plan, with weekly reviews to ensure the restrictions are working and still required.”Will there be a return to 'normal' for the world's airlines? Can governments afford to keep airlines on life support until this pandemic is no more? What about Airbus and already-troubled Boeing?