This Hanukkah Give the Gift of Truth

The Media Line led twenty years ago in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

Non-profit news needs public support. Please support us with your generous contributions:
We thank our loyal readers and wish you all the happiest of holidays
The Media Line
Is This the End of Commercial Air Travel as We Know It?
(Emirates Airways)

Is This the End of Commercial Air Travel as We Know It?

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, July 24

One of the complaints I hear most often these days pertains to air travel. How is it possible that many of us have returned to work in our offices, spend weekends at restaurants and parks, and go shopping at malls and stores yet are forbidden from stepping onto an airplane? How is it possible that all of these other activities have been made possible even in light of COVID-19 while air travel remains forbidden? First, do not forget that commercial aviation is the main reason for the spread of coronavirus around the globe. It was commercial travel that imported the virus from remote parts of Asia into most of the rest of the world. Popular tourist destinations like Italy were the first to be struck. Then the virus spread to New York City and the remainder of America. Because the airline industry played such a critical role in helping the spread of the disease, it should be held to a different standard – perhaps a stricter and more punitive one – than other industries. International travel cannot resume until a vaccine or an effective treatment for COVID-19 is developed. And vaccines aren’t invented overnight; they are created in labs, they must be tested in clinical trials, they must be mass-produced, and finally they must be marketed and administered. This will clearly take time. International travel was already reshaped once, by the attacks of September 11, 2001. The experience of air travel changed dramatically since then. The COVID-19 “attack” appears to be even more severe in its effect. It may very well shape the future of commercial aviation for decades to come. Indeed, it may prove even more costly and troublesome to airlines than the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Bulletproof doors, secret cameras, armed security guards on planes and electronic passports have all become norms in the wake of the attack. This is without even mentioning the booming industry of inspection and screening devices that have emerged in recent years. What new inventions and standards will COVID-19 bring? This is where governments will have to step in to save airlines from collapsing. Increased operational costs combined with months of negative income will likely push most airlines into bankruptcy. Without any governmental help, airlines seeking to stay in business will have to increase prices and thus make international travel unaffordable for most people. Therefore, it would be far wiser for governments to invest money and resources in precautionary measures, protective health and education campaigns, which will achieve a similar outcome without forcing airlines to shut down their operations. If we look at 9/11 we can already begin to understand the effect that COVID-19 will have about the way we will be travelling the world. – Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

Give the Gift of Trusted News!

Dear friends,

The Media Line is always there to report to you the stories and issues of the Middle East – completely and in context: TML is the source you can trust.

Know The Media Line to Know The Middle East!

Please support our ad-free, nonprofit news agency. Our seasoned journalists reporting from the Middle East are working day and night during these challenging, yet defining times; and our student interns are honing their knowledge and skills, preparing to emerge as tomorrow’s journalists.

You rely on us and we’re relying on you! Make your online tax-deductible donation here and contact us regarding donations through appreciated stock, donor advised funds, qualifying IRA distributions and other charitable instruments.

Thank you for confidence in The Media Line.
Felice Friedson
Founder, President

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.