Psychological Impact on Aviation Sector and how to overcome it (with reference to Covid-19)
Covid-19 has created distressful situations to people from all walks of life regardless of race, religion, gender, language etc. All the sectors including the agricultural sector, manufacturing sector, tourism sector and aviation sector is drastically affected. Due to Covid-19, all the flights had to be stopped by the end of March 2020 to curb the spread of the virus. As a result of it, pilots, aircrew staff and employees working in the aviation industry had to stop their work and sit idle at home till there is a progress or change in the current situation of Covid-19. Everyone’s routine has been thrown out of whack, making them lose the control over their lives. And everyone is afraid of death now, either of their own or that of the people they love. Whenever a society is hit by a crisis of the magnitude of the novel corona virus, it legitimises anxiety to a certain extent.
One of the most likely consequences, inherent in the massive indebtedness of airlines and the profitability of air transport, is the bankruptcy of many companies. Even after the era of Covid-19 is, the psychological after-effects caused by confinement will lead consumers to , particularly concerning mobility. Planes, which are confined spaces, will be abandoned in favour of private means of transport and giant aircrafts will be used lesser. Aircraft occupancy rates will therefore fall, leading airlines to reduce traffic and eliminate direct routes. Passengers will demand new measures to ensure their health safety inside the aircraft cabin. This could take the form of pre-boarding checks, including systematic temperature checks. The demand for improved travel conditions, without additional passengers, could boost business aviation. Hence, the company should plan and implement strategies to overcome such difficulties efficiently.
Thus, it creates tremendous pressure on the aviation sector to bring about such changes within a little span of time after Covid-19. Moreover, they would have faced shortage of money due to lack of operation during Covid-19 creating financial issues to the aviation companies leading to a delay to bring about such changes. It will also lead to chaos and confusions as pilots and aircrew staffs need to be trained promptly regarding the new changes and they also require additional motivation to adapt to the changes. There is a possibility of the staffs demanding for additional benefits or spike in their salaries. Moreover, passengers travelling on the flights after this disaster will be worried sick about their health and will not be comfortable as they used to be.
In addition to that, the circumstances due to Covid-19, have separated families and it is depressing for them as they have not met their family members for months. This would have created a psychological impact of loneliness. This would have resulted in poor health conditions such as insomnia, lack of appetite etc. Hence, once such people resume their work, they would not be able to concentrate on their work and quality of work will be lesser than expected. They will yearn to rejoice with their families and work half-minded. Such impacts on pilots and aircrew staff could be tided over by providing them with time to resume normal work and provide them with free consultation with psychologists to help them in a professional way.
Companies should work harder to align the goals of its employees’ with the organisations goals and provide them with proper guidance and support. If needed, they should also start adopting a tailor-made approach to cater to each individuals’ needs and demands. The airline managements should follow a socially responsible approach in the measures they take by providing support for management and unions to work together to balance companies’ needs for survival, and pilots’ and workers’ future. They should also provide support to avoid lay-offs, pay cuts, forced reduced working time, stand down and redundancy to the maximum extent possible. They should also provide them with financial support if required.
In a nutshell, the psychological impacts on the aviation industry due to Covid-19 is numerous and can be only solved by taking proper measures at the right time. With proper plans and effective implementation of strategies, aviation industry will soon regain its momentum and reach greater heights.
Asst Manager HR
AirCrews Aviation Pvt Ltd