Mideast Air Traffic to Plunge by Half Due to Coronavirus Impact: IATA

The coronavirus pandemic has shut down air services across the region and the world. (Photo: AFP Relaxnews)

The coronavirus pandemic has shut down air providers throughout the area and the world. (Photo: AFP Relaxnews)

The International Civil Aviation Organization, a UN company, mentioned Wednesday that the pandemic may imply 1.2 billion fewer air passengers worldwide by September.

  • AFP Relaxnews
  • Last Updated: April 25, 2020, 4:49 PM IST

Air visitors within the Middle East and North Africa is about to plummet by greater than half this yr as a result of coronavirus pandemic, a world aviation physique mentioned Thursday. “Airlines in the Middle East continue to be battered by the impact of COVID-19,” mentioned Muhammad Albakri of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

“Passenger traffic has all but ground to a halt and revenue streams have evaporated.”

Albakri, the IATA’s vice-president for Africa and the Middle East mentioned visitors would fall by at the very least 51 per cent in comparison with final yr. MENA airways’ revenues slashed by $24.5 billion, he added.

Almost all of the MENA area’s 19 state-owned airways and a dozen personal carriers have been grounded amid strict measures to fight the unfold of the coronavirus, together with halting air visitors. Just a few airways have continued or resumed restricted operations, together with Qatar Airways, Emirates Airline and Etihad.

The International Civil Aviation Organization, a UN company, mentioned Wednesday that the pandemic may imply 1.2 billion fewer air passengers worldwide by September.

The IATA, an trade affiliation, mentioned the Middle East’s aviation shutdown threatens some 1.2 million jobs – 300,000 greater than a earlier estimate three weeks in the past and half the entire jobs within the trade. The estimates are primarily based on a state of affairs that extreme journey restrictions will final three months, earlier than being regularly lifted for home flights, adopted by regional and intercontinental providers.

To minimise the injury to MENA economies, IATA urged governments to supply airways direct monetary assist, loans and tax reduction. The physique mentioned it’s assembly nearly this week with governments and airways to make sure that the sector is able to resume operations when the pandemic is contained.

“Starting up will be complicated. We need to make sure that the system is ready, have a clear vision of what is needed for a safe travel experience,” Albakri mentioned.

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