Commercial air travel contributes up to $2.7 trillion annually in global GDP. At least it used to, before the COVID-19 pandemic began in late 2019.
As of April 2020, air travel passenger traffic fell by 96%. There are now less than 31,000 daily flights arriving and departing from the United States. The pre-COVID average was 111,000 flights.
After 9/11 flying changed a lot, too. The biggest change was the TSA security process, which nevertheless took years to fully emerge as a fact of life for air travelers. COVID promises to change things even more.
And it will take years and maybe longer before the air travel industry will operate at pre-pandemic levels. When it does, here are seven ways air travel could change forever due to COVID-19.