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The Aviation Sector in a Changing Europe: Innovation and Challenges in the European Sky 

The aviation sector, represented in its best form by the massive market of air travel, is alive and well in Europe. But now that Europe is changing fast – from Brexit to the climate crisis –  how will this affect the way that we travel?

Today, air travel is cheaper and safer than ever before, and the aviation sector is one of the most important sectors in the world’s economic landscape. It helps people to become global citizens; to expand their horizons for both work and leisure to faraway places, and provides employment to many European citizens. Of course the current coronavirus crisis is wreaking havoc across this very same industry and disrupting airlines and the economy around the globe, but that is precisely why it is interesting to take a step back from COVID-19 for a minute and have a look at the industry beyond the current pandemic.

In order to better understand what keeps the industry alive and allows all air commuters to move around so easily and safely, it’s important to take a step back and elaborate on what the climate is like in the industry, what the challenges and issues affecting this global industry are, and what goes on behind the scenes.

To help us in this endeavour, we’ve interviewed a manager in a recruitment agency with over 14 years of experience recruiting employees in the aviation sector who has first-hand knowledge of the challenges air travel portends.  

Here are some of key takeaways from our interview:  

The aviation industry is soaring 

The aviation industry has been experiencing a non-stop rise in profits in Europe for almost a decadeThe cohesion of the European territory and the easiness of moving around in the EU zone offers opportunities for the innovation and growth of this sector without a great number of regulations that may interfere with the progress of the industry.

Aviation in countries such as Switzerland is predominant – with the Swiss country being an almost preferred stop for any intra-EU flight lasting longer than 5 hours. Its strategic location is indeed an important factor in why the Swiss are the unsung leaders in new technology and solutions as it pertains to air travel 

Moreover, the aviation sector is well-known for facilitating tourism in Europe, and tourism is a money-maker! Frequent leisure travellers spend more money on consumer goods and services than any other category, and the advancement in technology, combined with a decrease in cost for travel has done nothing but facilitate this constant flow of money all around Europe.  

Technology is the word 

As mentioned, traveling nowadays is extraordinarily easy, but it’s also extremely luxurious compared to what it looked like only a decade ago. This has to be attributed to the constant work of employees in the industry that make sure they’re up to speed with the latest technologies that make traveling not only easy and affordable, but less stressful as well. 

For the 3.6 billion passengers per year, the experience of travelling is more high-tech than ever before. Just think about how smartphones and online check-in and boarding passes now make our boarding a breeze. Innovations are about to be implemented on the planes themselves as well, as decreasing greenhouse gas emissions is a priority for the near future 

In our Q&A, our source cited a German company which is revolutionising the way air travel is going to look in the next decade by proposing a new service of air taxi. Entirely on demand, it will be powered by an electric take-off and landing jet. 

No word on pricing yet –  but we can imagine it won’t be affordable to everyone, at least in the infant stages. 

Brexit is a major concern for all

Before leaving the EU, the UK had privileged access to the liberalised aviation market, called ECAA, or European Common Aviation Area. 

Since February 2020, during this transition period in which the final papers are being signed, every concern about the long-awaited Brexit has become a real challenge. Although not talked about so much, aviation is no exception. It’s difficult for travellers to and from the UK not to be concerned about the imminent changes to their air commute. 

On the industry employees’ side, during our interview, the manager of a recruitment agency in the aviation sector spoke at length about Brexit and described it as the top reason for a perfect candidate to work in the aviation or even aerospace sector to drop out from a job interview altogether 

This is worrisome, as a shortage of highly-skilled workforce is also an issue facing the industry – and all the major players that are trying to combat it are doing their best to reassure their future employees.

But the reality is that when the UK exits the ECAA on the 31st of December 2020, no one will know exactly what the repercussions of this will be from a simple and tourism standpoint, which might cause a drop in tourists to and from the UK and as it pertains to the actual chance to work in the UK.  

If you want to read the whole interview with a manager in recruitment in the aviation sector you can find it here.

Nicola Clothier
Nicola Clothier is CEO of Accurity GmbH, a Swiss-based employment service provider. Nicola has an Honours degree in English Literature from Stirling University and more than 20 years’ experience in Swiss employment, and personnel leasing up to executive level throughout Europe.

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