We are now half way through the year and already the aviation industry is finding itself having to deal with two new, considerable problems.
The US has introduced new security demands which will impact every one of the 105 countries with routes to the country. Meanwhile, Qatar has seen diplomatic ties and transport links with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt abruptly severed after the four countries accused it of funding terrorism in the region.
The US announcement was made unexpectedly in June and while it contains a number of new measures, it is considered a positive result in the industry as it falls short of a full ban on electronic devices bigger than a mobile phone in the cabin. However, as our report on page 42 shows it still contains a number of unknown factors, which will only become clear once it is implemented, although a date as to when even this might be is yet to be revealed.
Meanwhile, the situation in Qatar looks unlikely to be resolved any time soon (page 39). Although the problems only started last month, at the time of going to press the Qatari government was talking about winning compensation for companies affected by the issue. On the other side, the four opposing countries are discussing ramping up sanctions following Qatar’s failure to meet a number of demands made by them.
While neither of the problems are the fault of the aviation industry, they have both added an additional unwanted layer of complexity to what is already a tough profession.
So perhaps readers should turn immediately to page 12, where easyJet boss Carolyn McCall has detailed how she is preparing the airline for the ramifications of Brexit, which remain largely unknown but could be far-reaching. What is most interesting is the cool head she is keeping throughout the process. Yes, there are things she cannot foresee in dealing with the issue, but by focusing on what she does know McCall has created a plan which she appears to be confident of successfully implementing.
In a world of such turmoil, perhaps this is the best way of ensuring the future of the aviation industry remains not only tenable, but bright.
editor, Routes News