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Going Direct: A Pandemic And An Uprising: How Our Flying Has Changed… And How It Hasn’t

With the twin developments, the latter for just over a week now, surprising news in the world of personal flying.

Photo by Urte Baranauskaite/Shutterstock

These are certainly strange times we’re living in, with a pandemic that has staggered the economy and our health care system, and now an uprising over police brutality with protesters and cops filling the streets. Strangely enough, the effect of the latter on our GA flying has been very small. How will these protests affect our flying lives in the long run? In terms of light airplanes at small airports, my guess is that impact will be small in the long run, though more diversity among our ranks, if that comes to pass, would certainly be a good thing.

The pandemic is a totally different question, but there’s ample good news on that front, as well. COVID-19 has upended life in American and around the world, that’s no secret. Economically and in terms of health, safety and mobility, we’re a changed country, and it looks as though it’ll be a good long while before things are back to normal. The economic outlook for the airlines is sobering. By the end of September, it’s a very good bet that tens of thousands of pilots, flight attendants and other airline employees, and those at contractors, will lose their jobs, if they haven’t already or been pushed out through voluntary leave or early retirement.  The smart money is it taking years before things return to normal levels.

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