Airport Tech trends: Passenger Aviation leads Twitter mentions in May 2020

4 June 2020 (Last Updated June 10th, 2020 14:18)

Airport Tech trends: Passenger Aviation leads Twitter mentions in May 2020

Passenger Aviation is prominent as Airport Technology lists the top five terms tweeted on airlines in May 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Passenger Aviation – 303 mentions

The effect of quarantine on the aviation industry, incompatibility between passenger aviation and social distancing, and airlines losing orders with added removals and cancellations as aviation’s coronavirus crisis worsens, were popularly discussed during May 2020. According to an article shared by Dominic Gates, an aerospace reporter for Seattle Times, Boeing has lost more than 500 orders this year as the aviation industry suffers on account of the virus crisis. Customers cancelled orders for 108 Boeing 737 MAXs last month. In addition, Boeing removed 99 MAX orders that had previously been booked, the article noted.

Simon Calder, a travel writer and broadcaster, discussed how passenger aviation and social distancing are fundamentally incompatible. He further added that if flying increases, short-term harm is inevitably due to greater interaction. Images of passengers crammed aboard a London flight raised concerns, the article further noted.

In other news, Eamonn Brennan, director general of Eurocontrol, tweeted on an interesting feature of the Covid-19 impact on aviation. He added that the analysis revealed that business aviation had been less affected than airlines, reflecting its role in cargo, medical and repatriation flights.

2. Aircraft – 300 mentions

Reactivation of aircraft, cargo conversions of aircraft, and the urgent need for a federal plan of action for all stakeholders involved in aviation, were popularly discussed in May. According to Sara Nelson, president of the association of flight attendants, there is still no plan in place for commercial aviation. She tweeted that despite the airlines taking precautions and safety mandates for passengers and staff, it will take some time to restore confidence in air travel. All stakeholders, including aircraft, airports, mass transit, cabs, and others have to be part of a larger and more effective federal plan to fight the virus pandemic.

Jason Rabinowitz, an airlines researcher and writer, further tweeted on the Lufthansa Group announcing plans to reactivate a total of 80 aircraft in its June schedule, serving 106 destinations with 160 aircraft. The influencer added that this was on account of the growing interest among customers for air travel.

In other news, Jennifer Schuld, a hack photographer of new Boeing jets, old war birds, and other flying objects at Paine Field, tweeted on the Prime Air aircraft, operated by Sun Country, to have recently flown for Urumqi Air, a low cost airline headquartered at China, before being converted to cargo.

3. Pilots – 273 mentions

Quarantine rules for pilots and aviation staff, the permanent termination of hundreds of pilots and crew to fight the Covid-19 crisis, and pilots looking to maintain currency, were popularly discussed during the month. According to an article shared by Captain Dave, an A380 captain, the 14-day quarantine rules for air travels were not yet clear. For instance, questions related to pilots having to undergo quarantine for 14 days when they got back, and if not then why, or why the quarantine rules applied only to air travel and not ferry, train, cruise, or cars, were still left unanswered.

Simon Calder, a travel writer and broadcaster, meanwhile, discussed how the CEO of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, called for pay cuts, job cuts, and unpaid leaves in response to the coronavirus pandemic. He also called for temperature checks at airports face coverings for passengers and staff. However, he dismissed the notion of social distancing on flights, the article noted. The Pilots’ union, Balpa, warned that this could lead to a tsunami of job losses in UK aviation. The CEO also called Lufthansa and Air France ‘subsidy junkies’, the article noted.

In other news, Ethan Klapper, a journalist and licensed aircraft dispatcher, tweeted on the JetBlue aircraft conducting a flyover over Manhattan, Queens, and Bronx to salute the frontline health care workers and responders. The influencer added that the airline did this through donations from port authority, pilot union, and a fuel provider, among others. As a result, pilots are using this as an opportunity to maintain currency.

4. Covid-19 – 257 mentions

The entire exiting of airline brands from service, new protective equipment for airline crew, salary adjustments for the aviation staff, and and the gradual re-opening of routes with quarantine rules for passengers post flights, were trending topics discussed during the month. According to an article shared by Alex Macheras, an aviation analyst, Virgin Atlantic, one of Britain’s famous airline brands removed all Boeing 747s from its fleet and exited London Gatwick entirely in response to the Covid-19 crisis. The airline, desperately in need for financial rescue, is also expected to cut over 3,000 jobs.

Max Kingsley-Jones, executive director content at FlightGlobal, further tweeted that the Air France-KLM Group would shut down its Air France Airbus A380 operations in context of the current Covid-19 crisis and its impact on the expected activity levels.

In other news, Eamonn Brennan, director general of Eurocontrol, discussed how a gradual pick-up in airline activities and flying could be expected in the weeks ahead as routes and countries begin to re-open in June.

5. Airport – 194 mentions

New airport measures to fight the global coronavirus pandemic, including quarantine and testing for arrivals at airports, mandatory face coverage and health screening, were popularly discussed during the month. According to an article shared by Simon Calder, a travel writer and broadcaster, a 14-day quarantine was implemented for all arrivals in the UK. The move triggered fury among airlines and airports suggesting that this could have a devastating effect on the aviation industry as well as the economy. The new quarantine rules would be a crushing blow to the travel industry for weeks to come, thereby wrecking holiday plans for millions of travellers, the article noted.

Alex Macheras, an aviation analyst, further tweeted on how the Vienna airport had begun Covid-19 testing, where all arriving passengers would be tested for the virus before entering Austria.

In other news, Eamonn Brennan, shared data to suggest the relative strength of cargo and regional airports, along with the weekend dip for cargo.