Days after it requested that airport slot regulations be suspended for the entire running year due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and following the collapse of Flybe on Thursday, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is again stressing the need for “urgent action” to safeguard the industry.
IATA said this week that the growing spread of Covid-19 to more than 80 countries has impacted pre-bookings and may cost the airline industry up to 113 billion dollars in lost revenue this year.
“The turn of events as a result of Covid-19 is almost without precedent. In little over two months, the industry’s prospects in much of the world have taken a dramatic turn for the worse,” said IATA Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.
Reflecting the dire situation, global financial markets have reacted strongly with airlines share prices plummeting by nearly 25 percent since the outbreak began.
According to IATA’s updated coronavirus financial impact analysis, 2020 global revenue losses for the industry may range between 63 billion dollars (or 11 percent of global passenger revenue) should Covid-19 be contained and 113 billion dollars (or 19 percent loss in worldwide passenger revenues) in the case it spreads even further.
In its February 20 assessment based on Covid-19’s confinement to markets associated with China, IATA estimated damage at 29.3 billion dollars.
“Many airlines are cutting capacity and taking emergency measures to reduce costs. Governments must take note. Airlines are doing their best to stay afloat as they perform the vital task of linking the world’s economies,” said de Juniac.
“As governments look to stimulus measures, the airline industry will need consideration for relief on taxes, charges and slot allocation. These are extraordinary times,” he added.