The IATA, in its latest estimates, projects that the global air transport industry could lose up to US$252 billion in revenues this year, or 44 per cent below 2019’s figure, due to the ongoing spread of Covid-19.
The figure is a marked increase from the association’s previous analysis earlier this month that airlines globally risk losing up to US$113 billion if the coronavirus pandemic persisted for a prolonged period – a projection made before countries around the world introduced sweeping travel restrictions that largely eliminated the international air travel market.
IATA director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said: “The airline industry faces its gravest crisis. Within a matter of a few weeks, our previous worst case scenario is looking better than our latest estimates. (And) without immediate government relief measures, there will not be an industry left standing. Airlines need US$200 billion in liquidity support simply to make it through. Some governments have already stepped forward, but many more need to follow suit.”
The latest analysis envisions that under this scenario, severe restrictions on travel are lifted after three months. The recovery in travel demand later this year is weakened by the impact of global recession on jobs and confidence.
Full year passenger demand (revenue passenger kilometres) declines 38 per cent compared to 2019. Industry capacity (available seat kilometre) in domestic and international markets declines 65 per cent during the second quarter ended June 30 compared to a year-ago period, but in this scenario, recovers to a 10 per cent decline in the fourth quarter.