IATA: Airlines set to lose $157 billion amid worsening slump | World News | WION News
Airlines will lose a total of $ 157 billion this year and next, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned on Tuesday, further dampening the industry’s outlook in response to the second wave of coronavirus infections and economic shutdowns that hit main markets.
IATA, which predicted $ 100 billion in losses in June over a two-year crisis period, said it now predicts an additional $ 118.5 billion deficit this year alone and another $ 38.7 billion in 2021..
The gloomy outlook highlights the challenges the airline industry continues to face despite upbeat news about the development of COVID-19 vaccines that will continue to roll out globally over the next year..
«The positive impact this will have on the economy and air travel will not happen until mid-2021», – IATA CEO told Reuters Alexander de Juniac (Alexandre de Juniac).
Passenger numbers are expected to drop to 1.8 billion this year from 4.5 billion in 2019, according to IATA estimates, and only partially recover to 2.8 billion next year. Passenger revenue is expected to fall 69% to $ 191 billion in 2020.
Forecasts assume reopening of borders by the middle of next year, which will be facilitated by combination of scaling up COVID-19 testing and deployment vaccines.
The International Air Transport Association reiterates its call for governments to replace travel restrictive quarantine regimes with widespread testing programs.
«We see that states are listening to us more and more often», – said de Juniac, referring to testing initiatives in France, Germany, Italy, UK, US and Singapore.
While some governments and airlines, such as Australia’s Qantas, say passengers are likely to need vaccinations for long-haul flights, de Juniac said this approach is unlikely to work everywhere..
«It will prevent people who refuse (the vaccine) from traveling», – said the head of IATA. «Systematic testing is even more important to opening borders than vaccine».
IATA said air cargo is the only positive development for the industry, as the need for flights drives up freight prices. Global revenue is likely to grow 15% to $ 117.7 billion this year, despite volume declining 11.6% to 54.2 million tonnes.