Deep losses in airlines sector will continue into 2021: IATA

New Delhi: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Tuesday announced a revised outlook for airline industry performance in 2020 and 2021. Deep industry losses will continue into 2021, even though performance is expected to improve over the period of the forecast, it said.

According to an official statement issued by the IATA, “A net loss of USD 118.5 billion is expected for 2020 (deeper than the USD 84.3 billion forecast in June). A net loss of USD 38.7 billion is expected in 2021 (deeper than the USD 15.8 billion forecast in June).”

“This crisis is devastating and unrelenting. Airlines have cut costs by 45.8 per cent, but revenues are down 60.9 per cent. The result is that airlines will lose USD 66 for every passenger carried this year for a total net loss of USD 118.5 billion. This loss will be reduced sharply by $80 billion in 2021. But the prospect of losing $38.7 billion next year is nothing to celebrate. We need to get borders safely re-opened without quarantine so that people will fly again. And with airlines expected to bleed cash at least until the fourth quarter of 2021 there is no time to lose,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

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He, however, said that the numbers could not get “much worse” as with “continued financial support of governments” the airlines can overcome the crisis.

“The numbers couldn’t get much worse. But there is a way forward. With the continued financial support of governments to keep airlines financially viable and the use of testing to enable travel without quarantine, we have a plan to overcome the worst immediately,” he further said.

“And longer-term the progress on vaccines is encouraging. Most importantly, people have not lost their desire to travel. The market response to even small measures to lift quarantine is immediate and strong. Where barriers have been removed, travel rebounded. The thirst for the freedom to fly has not been overcome by the crisis. There is every reason for optimism when governments use testing to open borders. And we need to make that happen fast,” he added.

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