During the COVID-19 pandemic, up to 64% of the global aircraft fleet was in storage (around 17000 aircraft) and tens of thousands of pilots were also grounded for many months. The human factors implications are significant. This article explores, through the lens of selected human factors topics, some of the challenges airlines face as they resume commercial flights. To illustrate these challenges, I explore recent incidents. The approach taken in this article may be helpful for organisations restarting activities, or making changes to activities, following the COVID-19 pandemic.