I wonder what effect this mess will actually have on flying. Right now, only the most essential travel is happening. People are learning to do meetings on line. Except for inspections, would there really be much of a need to fly for business anymore?
Yes. This is like saying that people won't go on vacations because you can simply watch a YouTube video of the beach or the Louvre. Who travels, how often and how they get there may change. But air travel won't completely cease to exist. Yes, we will see changes. And growth has probably been wiped for at least a decade. But this also gives us a great opportunity to build out the airports and build the transit and intercity rail connections to the airport before traffic levels go back to 2019 levels.
Relevant to our discussion here is what HFR accomplishes for aviation. It bolsters YUL as a hub, by redirecting some YYZ traffic to YUL. If packaged with the REM extension to Dorval station, Ottawa residents get travel through YUL that is as transit friendly as travel through YOW and on a timescale competitive with flying via YYZ, especially taking into account backtracks for Trans-Atlantic on Sun destination travel. Putting that extra 1.3 million of Ottawa-Gatineau more firmly into YUL's catchment for long-haul flights, makes that airport more competitive with YYZ for destinations that are viable. Should take some of the pressure off YYZ.