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Unquestionably, No Aviation No Economy

الثلاثاء - 12 مايو 2020

Tue - 12 May 2020

Engr. Abdullah M. Alshahrani
Engr. Abdullah M. Alshahrani
Globally speaking, I find myself astonished by the attitudes of some countries towards aviation sector, where they just watch aviation companies declaring bankruptcy and some other companies making thousands of layoffs. These countries think such negative actions will protect public money from being lost. To simplify the role of aviation sector in the economy of any country, let’s take the United State of America as an example. 750,000 people work in American aviation companies. This number is small comparing to the whole population in the States. However, there are more than 10 million jobs in the United States depend on aviation industry, which is called indirect jobs. This means that 7% of jobs in America are created, directly or indirectly, by the commercial civilian aviation sector, which is the sector that contributes to the USA’s GDP by more than 5.2%. These numbers made the White House promises to provide a very big support to the sector exceeds $45 billions. Last Monday, while in the annual meeting of shareholders, the Boeing CEO, David Calhoun said that because of the novel COVID19 pandemic, the sector will need 2 to 3 years in order to return back to normal. The aviation sector, which was supposed to make gains of $581 billions, will lose more than $314 billions. Then, he began to describe the way other companies -airlines- are dealing with Boeing. Some companies delayed their orders. Others stopped final negotiations. Some fell in late payments and others stopped paying at all. The Boeing CEO concluded his speech by asking for a financial loan. Furthermore, he announced that Boeing will cut production which might lead to lay off a number of employees. Calhoun’s speech didn’t differ from what the Airbus CEO, Guillaume Faury said, “there is an unprecedented rapid bleeding in cash flow” alluding to another production cut in Airbus to 1/3 which will result unnecessary labor. This was concerning aviation companies and aircraft industry. But the sector involves more than that. There are airports, air navigation companies, support operations companies; aircraft maintenance, supply, ground services, facilities, safety and security,...etc. All these companies provide services to travelers directly or indirectly and they are in the circle of damage. Decision makers must climb higher to view the whole the picture. They will definitely sense that every single day hotels are waiting for travelers. There are conferences and exhibits attended by people who carry boarding-pass in their pockets. Crowds standing by car rental offices are mostly people who came out of arrival gate. Natives never exchange money in exchange shops, a citizen does not bye a phone SIM everyday, does not ride the open bus “Big Bus” everyday either, and visits tourist sites and historical locations only once in a life time. There is a driver has “Airport Taxi” written on his car and a bag shop owner waits for travelers. The decision maker will know that businessmen and investors who are looking for chances travel by planes because their “time is precious”. Even import and export “cargo movement” are not done only by road and sea transportation, but there are big percent of transportation are done by air transport. If the decision maker views the whole picture, he will realize that aviation sector is the main driver for many other sectors and will declare by himself saying: “No Aviation, No Economy”.

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