This year’s losses will be the largest in aviation history: more than $ 84 billion in 2020 and almost $ 16 billion in 2021. This was stated at a press conference by Alexandre de Juniac, Executive Director of the International Association of Air Transport.
“In comparison, airlines lost $ 31 billion to the global financial crisis and rising oil prices in 2008 and 2009. There is no comparison. The size of this crisis,” said the official.
“The second point is the critical importance of governments and industry working together to implement the ICAO reset guidelines.”
“Our research shows that people will fly again as soon as the borders are opened. That is why we work and strongly support ICAO’s take-off plan to restart aviation. We must be prepared for the eventual recovery with global measures that are universally implemented. That will give governments the confidence to open borders. And it should give passengers the confidence to fly. ”
“In March we had a disorderly shutdown of the industry. ICAO guidelines, agreed by governments, are at the center of an orderly restart, as long as the guidelines are universally implemented, harmonized and mutually recognized by one another.”
“This would be a stark contrast to publication 9.11 when everyone essentially did their thing and we spent 20 years solving the differences.”
“And the other reassuring development compared to 9.11 is the agreement that the measures are temporary and will be evaluated frequently, as science, technology, and medicine advance. With continuous updating, including removal of the measures that they are no longer necessary for safety, passenger confidence must be kept high. ”
“The third point I want to emphasize is the need to avoid quarantine. Exit detection measures should prevent symptomatic people from flying.”
“Precautionary measures during travel (social distancing, better disinfection, and wearing masks when social distancing is not possible) will keep people safe when traveling.
And effective tracking of contacts on arrival should limit the risks of asymptomatic travelers creating new groups. ”
“This layered approach should give governments the confidence to reopen borders without quarantine. Frankly, if quarantine is introduced, economies are effectively blocked for travel. More than 80% of travelers tell us that if quarantine is imposed, they will not travel. ”
“We are encouraged to see the very rapid developments in accurate mass testing capabilities for COVID-19. As confidence in testing grows, we see the potential for it to play a critical role in keeping borders open without quarantine.”
“The fourth point is that the industry emerging from this crisis will have much more debt. Airlines entered 2020 in relatively good financial shape. After a decade of profit, debt levels were relatively low ($ 430 billion, approximately half of annual income) “.
“Vital government financial relief measures have prevented airlines from going bankrupt, but have increased debt by $ 120 billion to $ 550 billion. That is approximately 92% of expected revenue in 2021.”
“Additional relief measures should focus on helping airlines generate more working capital and stimulate demand rather than further expand debt levels.” Alexandre de Juniac concluded.
Looking to the future
The outlook is challenging to say the least. But aviation is a tough industry. With a globally harmonized and mutually recognized approach to reset measures, we can rebuild traveler confidence and jump-start recovery in aviation and overall.