The Covid-19 virus is just about all anyone in commercial aviation wants to talk about these days. The impact is spreading as fast as the virus and there may be some overreactions. Airlines are canceling flights and parking aircraft because of air travelers thinking they will get sick. Fears are valid but taking precautions can limit the risk and might help business travelers keep their customers serviced. The number of canceled conferences and trade events is startling.
Perhaps it would be helpful for people to get a sense of the sheer volumes of people moving into and out of the US by air. As you can expect, we have a model. This is a three-pager.
Page 1: Shows a map of the world, where readers select an Origin country for traffic inbound to the US. Also, select a year. Each bubble is the first destination of visitors from the country selected. Mouse over the buttons to get details like airline names and the volume of traffic. For traffic our bound from the US, ensure Origin country is blank and select a Destination country. This page provides readers with a great holistic view.
Page 2: Similar to Page1, but with a table with details in descending order. Select the Origin country and see where these people go in the US since 2010.
Page 3: Like Page 2, this is outbound traffic.
The impact of declining air travel will ripple through the economy very quickly. Tourism represents 2.6% of US GDP. Travel and tourism is the US’ largest services export. Another number you want to consider – tourism and hospitality is the fifth-largest industry in the US. If you want to damage the US economy, mess with people’s ability to travel. Remember the shock from 9/11? Are we now looking at something that might take longer to recover from?
The model above focuses on international air travel because we want to demonstrate how far international air travel reaches across the US. If the panic about Covid-19 doesn’t settle quickly there will be immense economic (and then social) damage.