Before the coronavirus, a decades-long aviation boom spawned a network of nearly 50,000 air routes that traversed the world. In less than a year, the pandemic has wiped almost a third of them off the map. Border closures, nationwide lockdowns and the fear of catching Covid-19 from fellow passengers have crippled commercial travel. As thousands of domestic and international connections disappear completely from airline timetables, the world has suddenly stopped shrinking.The crisis is unwinding a vast social and industrial overhaul that took place during half a century of air-travel proliferation. In years to come, overseas business trips and holidays will likely mean more airport stopovers, longer journey times, and perhaps an additional mode of transport. Even when an effective vaccine is found, the economic reality of the recovery may mean some non-stop flights are gone for good.
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A third of the world’s air routes have been lost due to Covid-19
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