The International Air Transport Association has released new analysis showing that some 25 million jobs are at risk of disappearing with plummeting demand for air travel amid the Covid-19 crisis.
Globally, the livelihoods of some 65.5 million people are dependent on the aviation industry, including sectors such as travel and tourism.
Among these are 2.7 million airlines jobs.
In a scenario of severe travel restrictions lasting for three months, IATA research calculates that 25 million jobs in aviation and related sectors are endangered across the world. This includes 11.2 million jobs in Asia-Pacific, 5.6 million in Europe, 2.9 million in Latin America, two million in both North America and Africa and smaller numbers in the Middle East.
In the same scenario, airlines are expected to see full year passenger revenues fall by $252 billion (down by 44 per cent) in 2020 compared to 2019. The second quarter is the most critical with demand falling 70 per cent at its worst point, and airlines burning through $61 billion in cash.
Airlines are calling on governments to provide immediate financial aid to help airlines to remain viable businesses able to lead the recovery when the pandemic is contained.
“There are no words to adequately describe the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the airline industry. “And the economic pain will be shared by 25 million people who work in jobs dependent upon airlines. “Airlines must be viable businesses so that they can lead the recovery when the pandemic is contained. “A lifeline to the airlines now is critical,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director general.
Commenting on the future of the aviation sector, data analytics company GlobalData said the impact had been dramatic.
The coronavirus has had a drastic impact on the airline industry forcing companies such as British Airways to cease operations at major airports with developments in the last few days placing the airline industry at a crossroads.
Nick Wyatt, head of tourism at GlobalData, explained: “Which way the industry goes from here remains to be seen, but government action, or in some cases a lack thereof, will be a key determinant.
“The full force of Covid-19 is now being felt on a global scale and we’ve reached a critical junction with even the US domestic industry seeing waves of flight suspensions.”