What would a world without air transportation look like? (fashions in human flight)

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EXCERPTS: In recent years, activists have urged people to consider flying less, or not at all, to help restrain ballooning emissions from aviation. [...] But what would happen if people across the world suddenly stopped flying completely?

A world of no flights would present some serious logistical challenges, but could also open up the door to huge changes to other, lower-carbon forms of transport. We are unlikely to ever cut out aviation completely, and we likely wouldn't want to. But posing this hypothetical question opens up the door to what we could be doing far more of to reduce aviation's heavy impact on the climate.

[...] how would this new world without aeroplanes affect people around the globe? Many people's daily lives would be unaffected, at least directly. Just 11% of the global population took a flight in 2018 and at most 4% took an international flight. Even in the UK, over half of people didn't fly at all in a given year, even before the pandemic. Around the globe, most flights are taken by a tiny minority of frequent flyers.

[...] Airports would go silent, providing relief to locals previously impacted by the noise. In a matter of days, the elevated air pollution levels found near to airports would also drop, with a knock-on reduction in health risks such as asthma and heart disease for local residents.

People with homes in two countries would hastily have to choose which location they wanted to live in, while people who fly frequently for weekend trips and holidays would also face a large change in lifestyle. Holidays would mostly need to be done in places accessible by train, bus, car and ferry, nudging people towards staying in their own or nearby countries.

[...] But other countries would be hard hit – especially islands heavily dependent on tourism and largely only accessible by plane. The huge decline in travellers in 2020 put over 100 million tourism jobs in jeopardy: many would be permanently lost. ... Other countries would need to find ways to support these countries...

The grounding of all planes would also affect the 11 million people around the world who work directly in the aviation industry...

[...] Corporate climate targets would see an instant boost as business travel ground to a halt – 90% of business travel emissions currently come from aviation. ... Some supply chains would also see disruption: just 1% of global trade by volume is transported by air, but products sent by aeroplane tend to be high value.

Some of this freight, such as paper, printed books and vehicle parts, could be transported by ship, lowering their carbon footprints to one-tenth or one-twentieth of their previous level, though supply chains and timelines would need huge adjustments. Businesses and consumers are becoming increasingly used to having globally sourced goods delivered within days: a world with no flying would lengthen this time considerably.

Food air freight would also require adjustment. The 47,000 tonnes of fresh or chilled fish [...] would need to be delivered frozen if going by ship. Highly perishable fresh fruits and vegetables ... would disappear from supermarkets in the winter, with a rise in the consumption of frozen fruits instead. The availability of flowers grown overseas would plummet...

However, you would not see major shortages in supermarkets or clothing stores in a world without planes, says Fernando. "[Bulk goods] are transported using a very different supply chain network, shipping across oceans, and then road or rail or barges and inland waterways. So overall, I think there would be a smaller impact on freight."

Some air cargo is lifesaving, however. Air freight is used to ship medical supplies and pharmaceuticals around the world... (MORE - missing details)

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