Ghostly airports, countless flight cancellations, shops and restaurants closed, and a limited number of passengers: all this may have been an unfamiliar scene to frequent travelers until a couple of months ago. However, the on-going COVID-19 pandemic has made this all a reality at most airports globally.
In fact, very few planes are flying these days. Air travel has been reduced to single digits of what it was a short few months ago.
But there is one thing positive at the airports these days: For once, there is no line to get through the security checks. Everywhere people are wearing masks and keep an appropriate distance from one another. They are not talking to each other much.
Signs posted all around the boarding gates ask “What is social distancing?” Some airlines are not even offering meal service on-board. Rather they are distributing plastic bags containing snacks, bottles of water, and disinfecting wipes to the passengers.
You will experience an almost oppressive silence prevalent at most airports, broken only by the regular pleas on the public-address system for people to take proper protective measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many planes offer three seats to one passenger to maintain the necessary social distancing rule among the passengers. Most of these passengers dutifully follow instructions given by the airline staff.
These days, no one is traveling for tourism purposes. Most of them are doing so because they have to reach their families or they have something really important.
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed every sector of the global economy including the travel industry, one feels lonely while traveling by air these days. Even the ones who are traveling are afraid to catch the COVID-19 virus from one another. Nobody knows exactly when things will get to normal. But, even after the pandemic is over, the travel industry will not rebound as swiftly.