Airports and airlines fear ‘millions’ of job losses

Published: 6 May 2020 - 5 a.m.
By: Aviation Business

Industry bodies representing airlines and airports have warned that the current state of the global air transport industry risks the loss of “millions” of jobs unless governments introduce tax reliefs and direct financial support.

Airports Council International (ACI) World and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) are calling on governments to quickly grant financial relief to assist airport operators and airlines during the Covid-19 crisis.

The economic impact of measures to control the spread of the virus, such as a closing borders and suspending flights, has been severe. Airlines alone are expected to lose some $314 billion in revenues this year and both carriers and airports are facing a liquidity crisis.

Aviation supports 65.5 million jobs around the world, including 10.5 million people employed at airports and by airlines, and supports $2.7 trillion in world economic activity, according to IATA and ACI.

“The financial impact of the current crisis is unlike anything we have ever seen and requires urgent action by governments to assist the aviation industry to protect jobs, ensure essential operations, and plan for recovery,” said ACI world director general Angela Gittens.

“Urgent tax relief and direct financial assistance that is to the benefit of the entire aviation ecosystem is needed to help preserve millions of jobs, protect essential operations, and foster a balanced recovery. Preserving the continuity of operations for airports and airlines and protecting aviation jobs today will result in a faster economic recovery tomorrow.”

IATA’s CEO Alexandre de Juniac said the situation could not be more dire.

“Governments will depend on aviation to be ready to lead an economic recovery when this pandemic is behind us,” he said.

“Governments must act now with financial lifelines that only they can provide for airlines and airports to see them through these extraordinary times. Airlines and airports are in this together. The more financially stable our airport partners are, the more they can help the industry to drive a recovery in air travel that will jump start the global economy.”

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