The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to cause nearly $160 billion losses in the aviation sector during 2020 and 2021, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.
The association’s expectation is $118.5 billion losses this year and $38.7 billion in 2021, according to a press release issued Tuesday.
“Deep industry losses will continue into 2021, even though performance is expected to improve over the period of the forecast,” the IATA said.
It added that after a difficult period in the first half of 2021, the second half of next year will post improvements.
Alexandre de Juniac, the CEO of the association, stressed: “This crisis is devastating and unrelenting. Airlines have cut costs by 45.8%, but revenues are down 60.9%.
“The result is that airlines will lose $66 for every passenger carried this year for a total net loss of $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.”
Juniac noted that borders should be reopened safely “without quarantine” to enable people to fly again.
He added: “And with airlines expected to bleed cash at least until the fourth quarter of 2021 there is no time to lose.”
The press release recalled that due to the pandemic, this year, airlines’ revenues dropped by a half-trillion US dollars.
This year, the number of passengers is expected to drop to 1.8 billion from 4.5 billion in 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which initially appeared in China last December, has spread across the world and infected millions of people.
The global outbreak affected several sectors deeply, particularly aviation, tourism, travel, and manufacturing.