$29 billion loss expected for Asia Pacific airlines this year: IATA

New Delhi: Airlines in the Asia Pacific region will be the hardest hit by COVID-19 crisis with losses expected to be 29 billion dollars for 2020, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday.

This is more than a third of the 84.3 billion dollar industry losses globally. The Asia Pacific region was the first region to feel the brunt of Covid-19 crisis.

IATA said the region’s airlines will see passenger demand measured in revenue passenger kilometres collapse 53.8 per cent this year while capacity in available seat kilometres will be reduced by 39.2 per cent.

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“2020 is the worst year in aviation history and airlines are in survival mode. The carriers in the Asia Pacific will experience the largest losses at 29 billion dollars. That is a loss of 30.09 dollars per passenger,” said Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Regional Vice President for the Asia Pacific.

“In this bleak outlook, the priority is for the region’s governments to facilitate the restart of air connectivity in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Take-off guidance and principles,” he said.

“It will take a few years for the industry to get back to 2019 levels of activity. In the interim, governments will need to continue providing financial relief and assistance to airlines as well as flexibility in slot usage,” said Clifford in a statement.

“We are also working with airports and air navigation service providers to identify areas of cooperation with a view to reducing costs for airlines,” he added.

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