'We focused on identifying aspects that can structurally redefine aviation, particularly around supply and demand, traffic resilience, passenger behaviour, health regulations, and business ethics,' said Cranfield University senior lecturer Pere Suau-Sanchez.
The study - involving interviews with 16 senior aviation executives and analysis of airfreight data - provides an early assessment on the effects of Covid 19.
Executives polled expressed concern about the possible differences in state aid and how those variations could affect competitive balance in a post-Covid environment.
They agreed that Covid will affect full-service network carriers the most because the recovery in international markets will prove slower than in domestic markets. Several also identified the potential entry of new airlines in international carriers' home hub markets as a threat.
Meanwhile, they identified regional airlines as possible short-term winners during the recovery period as they could potentially help full-service carriers adjust feed capacity.
They also expect low-cost carriers to concentrate their efforts in primary markets and possibly enter hub airports while reducing frequencies at the route level. As a result, regional and secondary airports will likely suffer as capacity opens in larger markets, attracting airlines and enabling larger hub airports to reinforce their positions.
The executives also cited concern about the recovery of business travel, mainly due to the cancellation of meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions events, and the uneven lift of travel bans.
Meanwhile, many said they expect a faster recuperation of the leisure passenger segment; however, reduced disposable incomes would curtail propensity to fly and require significant support, such as route subsidies.