What could happen to the aviation sector if the Covid-19 crisis in the Philippines doesn't ease

Sadly, the Philippines now has the most number of active Covid-19 cases in the ASEAN as of this writing, and is currently 15th with the most number of active cases worldwide out of 215 countries.

Unfortunately, the number keeps increasing after the government eased quarantine rules in order to allow the economy to recover. Many Filipinos abused, thinking that the easing of quarantine rules means that the virus is gone. This resulted to a sharp upward trajectory in the number of CoviD-19 cases in the countries.

Last June 1, the Philippines' Inter-Agency Task Force allowed the local airlines to operate commercial flights from NAIA which prompted the restart of commercial flights. This however does not guarantee a faster recovery as there is still an enemy, the virus in the country.

So what would happen to the aviation sector if the coronavirus crisis is not taken under control? A lot, and it will be devastating especially if that what they call "MMCQ" or better known as "Matira Matibay Community Quarantine" would come into effect. Allow us to clarify though, "MMCQ" is never nor will ever be a government directive, but it is the Filipinos' "self-made" quarantine where rules are disobeyed.

Countries to impose strict rules on travelers coming from the Philippines

Just this week, Emirates has imposed a ruling that all travelling from the Philippines will be required to bring a certificate showing that they are negative of covid-19. Also, this certificate has to show results of a full PCR test, and not just a rapid test. Just yesterday, the South Korea embassy imposed the same rule on people travelling from the Philippines as a result of the rising number of cases.

Other countries may do the same, imposing stringent rules and regulations on anyone travelling from the Philippines, now considered as one of the world's covid-19 hotspots. These rules may even mean 14-day quarantine at arrival country, which may further discourage Filipinos to travel. Moreso, this may discourage tourists from coming in and flying out, greatly affecting the aviation industry.

Localized lockdowns which may kill domestic travel

Just yesterday, the number of new cases from Metro Manila alone was at 1,800+, making it the "ground zero" of the covid-19 crisis in the country. Cebu's numbers are slowly tapering down, so as other provinces. With the surge in Metro Manila, this may force other LGUs to stop allowing flights from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from entering.

This will definitely kill our airlines' chance to make a quick recovery as domestic travel plays a huge role while international travel remains restricted.

All local airlines may go bankrupt as government funds deplete

Perhaps, the only way for our airlines to get back to its feet is through government subsidy but if this crisis is not averted, the government may no longer be able to help our airlines financially. The International Air Transport Association has reiterated its call for government and states to help bailout their airlines.

Let us not forget that the airlines play a huge role in a country's economic development. They spur tourism and trade. They provide a lot of jobs, around 550,000 that is, both direct and indirect. They create interconnectivity between the different islands in the Philippines and the world.

The only way to curb this crisis from getting worse is for government and the citizens to work together. It cannot be a one way thing, both have to do their part. For the citizens, its simple. Stay home as much as possible, wear a face mask, wash your hands, observe personal hygiene, and keep physical distance. While our only hope is for a vaccine and medicines that fights covid-19 to come out, this may still take time.

For now, we have to do our part in order for everything to return to normal. As they always say, if you want something, work hard for it. If we want to heal, then we have to deserve it.

Post a Comment


post-body img { width: 100%; height: auto }