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Airlines on track to lose $ 157 billion as global crisis deepens – Dateway

Airlines are on track to lose up to $ 157 billion between this year and next, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – a big increase from their June projection of $ 100 billion in losses they recorded in June for the same period.

The new projection includes a deficit of $ 118.5 billion for 2020 and at least $ 38.7 billion for 2021, according to Reuters, suggesting that the bleak outlook “underscores the challenges the sector still faces despite optimistic news about the development of COVID-19 vaccines, the global rollout of which will continue throughout next year.

“The positive impact this will have on the economy and air traffic will not happen massively before mid-2021,” IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement to Reuters.

Passenger numbers are expected to drop to 1.8 billion this year, from 4.5 billion in 2019, according to IATA estimates, and will only partially recover to 2.8 billion next year. Passenger revenues for 2020 are expected to have fallen 69% to $ 191 billion.

“This is by far the biggest shock the industry has experienced in the years following World War II,” said IATA Chief Economist Brian Pearce.

The forecast assumes a significant reopening of borders by the middle of next year, aided by a combination of COVID-19 testing and vaccine rollouts. Reuters

The association recommends governments stop quarantines that kill travel and implement widespread testing for COVID-19 instead.

“We’re seeing states gradually coming to listen to us,” de Juniac said, pointing to ongoing testing programs in the United States, Britain, Singapore, France, Germany and Italy.

Recently, Quantas Airways CEO Alan Joyce said the COVID-19 vaccine would be mandatory for anyone boarding its flights and would become the standard for international travel.

“We are considering changing our terms and conditions to say, for international travelers, that we will ask people to get vaccinated before they can get on the plane,” Joyce said, adding, “I think it will be a common thing. . to my colleagues from other airlines around the world. “

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De Juniac, however, is not a fan.

“It would prevent people who refuse (the vaccine) from traveling,” he said, adding that “systematic testing is even more essential to reopen borders than the vaccine.”

Meanwhile, air freight is doing extremely well during the pandemic – and will likely see global revenues rise 15% to $ 117.7 billion in 2020 despite an 11.6% volume drop to 54.2 million. tonnes according to IATA.

Some $ 173 billion in government assistance has left recipients with debts that threaten to hamper future investments, he warned, and more bankruptcies are likely. Norwegian Air became the latest victim on November 18, when it filed for bankruptcy protection in Ireland. Reuters

According to the report, the average airline can survive another 8.5 months with cash on hand, while some only have a few weeks. “I think we’ll get some consolidation through some airline bankruptcies,” Pearce says.

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