We will forever remember 2020 as the year of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s had a decimating impact on so many industries, not least aviation. The reduction in air travel was abrupt and profound. Passenger numbers continued to struggle even when governments eased restrictions over the summer. It’s a long road to recovery ahead for airports and airlines, but one that we at Contego Aviation Solutions stand ready to support our aviation clients through.
Navigating the COVID-19 crisis
Aviation has had more than its fair share of cataclysmic events before—the grounding of aircraft following the Iceland ash cloud, and of course, the catastrophic impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Some are predicting the bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic will take longer than it did following those events. The truth is, only time will tell.
In spring, we watched and applauded furloughed airline staff rally to help the NHS. It proved what we already knew – that the people who work in aviation are some of the most hard-working and dedicated folk that we know.
While airports are operating at a significantly reduced capacity, many are still open to support skeleton passenger flights, and essential cargo flights have flown throughout the pandemic. The hundreds of people that make these flights possible, from the ground staff to the cargo handlers, to the crew and pilots, need the same safety protections against airport hazards that they always required. But now, they need additional safety measures to protect them against the invisible risk of COVID-19. We’ve supplied aviation businesses with the masks, sanitisers, gloves, and other precautions needed to keep them protected throughout the pandemic.
The emergence of fake PPE
We continued to supply our aviation clients with the vital equipment they needed throughout the pandemic with as little disruption as possible, despite a global surge in demand for PPE. But as PPE became a seemingly scarce resource, we noticed a trend of ‘pop-up’ PPE suppliers peddling fake PPE. These new entities emerged to shamelessly cash-in on surging demand for facemasks, gloves and sanitiser.
Alarmingly, some were selling uncertified PPE that didn’t comply with regulations, nor that was CE marked. Unlike established PPE organisations, they often weren’t registered with the British Safety Industry Federation. They also demonstrated scant understanding of the businesses they were targeting, risking compromising the safety of those they were promising to protect. Fortunately, as supply chains have normalised, there’s been a decrease in cowboy suppliers. But it reinforces the importance of choosing a safety and PPE supplier carefully.
Solidifying our relationships
This year, it’s become clear how vital the relationships with our customers and suppliers are. In many instances, we got to know our aviation customers better than ever. We’ve learned how we can continue to adjust to and support them through challenging times.
We also had tremendous support from our suppliers. Working closely with them, as we have over many years, meant that we were able to continue to stock most of our aviation products with few or no delays.
Increasing our customisation capacity
While Covid-19 has undoubtedly dominated this year, we didn’t stand still with other developments at Contego Aviation Solutions. During the year, we’ve boosted our garment customisation team to double capacity. This means we can offer more flexibility than ever for heat-sealed aviation workwear and embroidered uniforms, getting products to our customers faster.
Despite everything 2020 has brought, we plan to continue to grow Contego Aviation Services throughout 2021. We’re starting by bolstering our customer support team to offer more customers even better and faster support. This growth in personnel will be complemented by developments with our popular Online Management Portal, giving our customers access to an increasing variety of tools to manage, analyse, and report on PPE usage, budgets and management.
The aviation industry will undoubtedly feel the impact of 2020’s events long into 2021 and beyond. For now, we take this time of year to reflect on and learn from its challenges and opportunities. To all our customers and suppliers, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season, and we look forward with optimism to 2021.
Contego Aviation Solutions stocks a wide range of corporate workwear, protective clothing and PPE for the aviation industry, including our WEARMASTER® range. We also provide a bespoke uniform design and manufacture service to ensure you get precisely what you are looking for in a company uniform. The friendly and expert team at Contego Aviation Solutions is always on hand to give advice and guidance on the right workwear, PPE and protective clothing for your needs. Contact us now on 0800 122 3323 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements.