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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Before the coronavirus, a decades-long aviation boom produced a network of nearly 50,000 air routes that crossed the world. In less than a year, the pandemic swept nearly a third of them off the map.

Border closures, national mobility restrictions and the fear of catching Covid-19 from other passengers impacted commercial travel. As thousands of domestic and international connections completely vanished from airline schedules, the world suddenly stopped shrinking.

The crisis has undone a vast social and industrial reformulation of air travel that occurred over half a century. In coming years, business travel . . .

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