Current challenges need long-term solutions, says editorial contributor Bernie Baldwin.
Three days in Antalya at CONNECT 2020 now seems like a different world. Great conversations abounded with delegates discussing plans for routes and new facilities at airports.
I have attended CONNECT since 2010 and the networking rooms this year were as full as I’ve ever seen them, underlining the event’s ever-increasing importance. But I can also report that, despite the optimism on show, everyone was aware of the potential change the industry might undergo if the Coronavirus situation became more serious. That was the atmosphere under which the presentations and interviews reported here were carried out.
Right now, as we go to press, that change has happened and the severity of the situation has deepened, with many countries enforcing isolation strategies.
If the advice of the learned specialists is taken, the airline and travel industries will re-establish themselves. The beginning of the turnaround and subsequent rate of recovery are unknown. Also, many support mechanisms have to be put in place for the aviation, travel and hospitality industries.
Some of the plans discussed in the articles that follow may never come to fruition, of course. Some will happen but may be delayed. The passion that CONNECT attendees have for their work is immense, so you can bet they will be doing everything they can to put into place all the ideas and developments they have formulated for these challenging times.
With that background, please enjoy all the knowledge and intelligence that our industry colleagues imparted. And here’s to being able to reinforce our industry and its values in Tangiers in 2021.