Aerospace companies have been one of many industries to feel the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Falling demand for travel, lack of investment, and large-scale travel bans are just some of the issues that the industry has been forced to confront as the pandemic escalates.
The outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in December 2019 sparked knock-on effects that have had an impact on the entire world. Global economies, entire industries, and healthcare systems have all been placed under massive strain by the worldwide circulation of the virus. However, certain industries have been hit harder than others, including aviation and aerospace.
If you’re an aerospace company in UK, you have a variety of needs, such as global investment, customer demand, and highly trained staff. Some of these things have been affected by the pandemic. Here’s how Coronavirus has hit the aerospace industry generally and how things are likely to change in the coming months!
How Has Coronavirus Affected the Economy?
The immediate effects of the pandemic caused an instant downturn in the global economy. This was due to the closure of businesses and industries as governments tried to react quickly to contain the virus. The downturn was also due to the actions of individuals who tried to protect themselves and their families by travelling and venturing out less.
Sick-leave due to Covid isolation or illness also caused shrinkage in the pool of workers available. In the first few weeks of the global pandemic, it was estimated that the airline industry alone could lose up to $133 billion of its expected value. This contraction in the economy also led to a lack of confidence in markets and a reduction in investment, which further hurt many industries. Overall, the effects of the global pandemic amount to a global recession which will have a devastating impact on many sectors, including aerospace.
How Are Aviation and Aerospace Companies Affected by This?
- Cancelled Flights and Travel Bans
Commercial aviation has been one of the sectors most severely affected by the pandemic. Due to bans on international and domestic travel, airlines have lost millions in revenue as customers fail to book flights. This has also led to many flights being grounded and prompted huge staff layoffs, as commercial airlines were left unable to cover their costs. As many airline companies also work in conjunction with aerospace companies, this is a large problem for the sector.
One statement from the Welsh government in July 2020 stated that European airports had grounded around 90% of their vehicles and cancelled an equivalent number of flights. These closures had led to around 33,000 redundancies, with even more predicted. This demonstrates how aerospace companies in the UK are facing a drastic drop in demand.
This current effect will also limit the growth of the aviation industry in the future, even once the pandemic has been brought under control. Essentially, there will need to be a period of recovery in the midst of a global recession. This will undoubtedly be a difficult storm for the aviation industry to weather, even if things like vaccines or improved treatment lead to a swift reopening.
- Skill Shortages in Aerospace
Shortages of trained engineers are a growing problem across many industries, including aerospace companies. These sectors rely heavily on highly skilled engineers and researchers, who must undergo years of training before they begin jobs with aerospace companies. Many of these researchers and professionals come from developing countries around the world.
However, the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic will set many of these countries back. This could stall young professionals’ educations – as the pandemic already has in many places – and could lead to a shortage of skilled young people to enter new jobs. This recession could also contribute to a shortage of funding opportunities and a lack of investment in programs to allow young people to train for aerospace positions. The covid impact on aerospace manufacturing and production, therefore, is extremely far-reaching.
- Lack of Funding
Although the UK is home to many aerospace start-ups, aerospace projects often require large-scale investments from domestic and international government funds. With efforts focusing on virus containment and public health measures, this is likely to exact a toll on the aerospace industry. This is also likely to be the case post-pandemic under recession conditions and is likely to continue for some time to come.
- Loss of Man Hours
Aside from losses in terms of redundancies, many companies may struggle to make up man-hours in their businesses during Coronavirus. This often comes down to staff being off sick or being required to self-isolate if they have come into contact with someone who has Covid. If this person works in an office or lab setting, this could lead to the entire staff, teams, or departments requiring paid self-isolation periods. The pandemic has also closed schools, and many parents may struggle to work the same hours as they did previously.
There are many examples of the knock-on covid effect on the aerospace industry. From downturns in company profits and customer demand to difficulties hiring new staff and supporting existing teams. It is certainly a challenge that the aerospace industry will need to contend with for some years to come.
Final Call: Has your business been affected by Covid? Have you been forced to close or noticed a decline in profits? What measures have you taken to combat these effects? Share your thoughts in the comments!