Speaking at the Paris Air Forum on 20 November, de Juniac thanked governments around the world for support of around £120 billion, Reuters reported. However, he also stressed that the industry’s additional funding needs would amount to another £60 billion in aid – ‘otherwise some airlines will not survive’.
De Juniac also admitted that losses for the year could run up to £75 billion, up from a previous IATA estimate of £65.5 billion. “It’s quite probable we will be looking at bigger losses than the figures we announced,” de Juniac said.
He added IATA expected air traffic to end the year at around a third of 2019 levels, and forecast it reaching 50 to 60 per cent by the end of 2021.
IATA urges Africa to implement safe resumption of air travel
Meanwhile, IATA also urged Africa’s health and transport authorities to accelerate and expand the implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Council Aviation Recovery Task Force’s (CART) guidance for the safe resumption of air travel and tourism during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Muhammad Albakri, IATA’s Regional Vice-President for Africa and the Middle East, said: "Covid-19 has devastated African economies and brought air connectivity across the continent to a virtual standstill. The recovery time has lengthened with 2019 traffic levels only likely to return until late 2023. The economic consequences are severe.
“Africa’s airlines will lose US$6 billion in passenger revenues this year. Millions of jobs and livelihoods are at risk, not just in travel and tourism, but across the entire economic value chain and aviation’s contribution to Africa’s GDP will fall by $37 billion. For Africa’s economic revival, it is essential to re-open markets using a single, common set of guidelines, processes and criteria.”
According to ICAO’s latest assessment, 19 African nations have so far fully implemented the CART’s initial ‘Take-Off’ guidelines, while another seven have implemented more than half of them.
Passenger testing has been touted as a potential saviour for not just the aviation industry, but for the travel industry on the whole – ahead of a Covid-19 vaccine. United Airlines is among those now implementing Covid-19 testing programmes for travellers.