The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the medical air transportation industry in developing markets seems to be far-reaching and will negatively affect the growth. The stricter lockdowns in countries grappling to control the infection that is spreading like wildfire and the stigma associated with the highly contagious disease are having a two-pronged effect. For countries like India, where the medical air transportation industry had just taken off in a big way just a short while ago, it was initially a booming business. It was seen that medical air transportation service providers were seeing at least one booking per day. However, this went down drastically once the COVID-19 lockdown came into play.
The Impact of Lockdown on Medical Air Transportation
An air ambulance company located in India’s capital, New Delhi, revealed that once a pilot is infected, the aviation regulatory body bars him from flying for three months. Such moves, the company said, are discouraging the personnel to undertake evacuation duties. Besides, the government demands that the patients as well as the crew declare that they have not come in contact with a COVID-19-positive person in the last 15 days. In addition, they are expected to present a COVID-19-negative certificate. Not all customers are aware of such norms and eventually decide against availing the air ambulance service. It is a trend that is denting the revenue of the industry profoundly.
The Rising Fear of COVID-19 and the Economic Impact
It was seen recently that a pilot was infected with COVID-19, and it immediately made headlines. The development has dissuaded many patients from availing medical air transportation services due to the fear of contracting the infection.
The cost of the personal protective equipment and disinfection of aircraft have added to the service charges. Some industry experts have revealed that many companies have turned towards laying-off their employees or at least cutting their pay packages.