Indoor Skydiving THE VISION is scheduling a series of interviews with the very people who provided their opinions in “A FUTURE AFTER COVID-19,” a document published at the end of April. Aerodium's Ivars Beitans, iFLY's Simon Ward and a few others will follow up on developments in the indoor skydiving industry since then.
When Indoor Skydiving Source (ISS) released “A FUTURE AFTER COVID-19” at the end of April, it included a timeline predicting key developments that were to follow the massive shutdown of operations at the global level. The reopening of tunnels from May/June, the gradual increase in activity/sales during July/August and the threat of even more restrictions imposed to counteract new surges of infections in September/October, they all came about – exactly as per forecast.
It speaks for the authors’ grasp for the situation that they nailed it in every respect. As of 15 September, a majority of wind tunnels are indeed operating, only two are currently closed due to regional/national lockdowns: Melbourne and Tel Aviv. Quite a few others are being run on reduced schedules, many on weekends only.
Generally, the operators were able to rise to the occasion by promptly defining and implementing the protocols that allowed them comply with all basic norms for viral containment. What continues to affect the conduct of business adversely are severe restrictions that go beyond the wearing of masks, the general sanitizing and the norms for social distancing. Limitations as to the number of people who can assemble in one place and curfews make it particularly difficult for clients to engage in an activity that thrives on social experiences.
More than anything else, it is the economic fallout from the pandemic – mid- and long-term – that tunnel operators everywhere consider as their gravest concern. At the end of September, six months into the crisis and shortly before key data for the third quarter are released, looking at the impact that SARS-CoV-2 has on the economies around the world seems highly appropriate.
Several countries where indoor skydiving facilities exist are in a full-fledged recession, prospects are pretty bad in quite a few others too.
FOCUS ON SPAIN
The current situation in Spain is being used to address additional factors that should be considered. The country is hit particularly hard by the pandemic. A population of 47 million and a cumulative 600,000 infections becomes a worst-case scenario for extrapolation in Europe. France with 67 million inhabitants and – currently – 400,000 infections is only a few outbreaks away.
Overcoming adversity and adapting to a new reality becomes the overriding goal for the (indoor) skydiving industry everywhere.
COVID-19 CONSUMER BEHAVIOR
The first recommendations to accommodate new habits.
Interviews and background information will be published here and in the next issue of our newsletter THE VISION by the end of September.