Passenger demand won't return to pre-crisis levels until 2023

Published: 3 May 2020 - 7:45 a.m.
Two of the Middle East’s biggest airlines are warning that 85% of carriers globally face insolvency by the end of the year without government intervention.

Passenger demand won’t return to pre-crisis levels until 2023, Emirates President Tim Clark and Tony Douglas, chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, warned in a joint statement issued by the US-UAE. Business Council.

Lasting restrictions such as two-week quarantines, testing and social distancing will impact demand and operations, they said, adding that the way passengers fly will be different until an effective vaccine becomes widely available.

Dubai-owned Emirates received assurances for government support last month.

Airlines have been hit with an unprecedented near-total shutdown of travel as the health emergency sweeps across continents and governments close borders and order populations to stay at home. About 70% of global carrier capacity is idled and the industry stands to lose $314 billion in 2020 in ticket sales, according to the International Air Transport Association.The coronavirus has wiped out demand across the world, including the neighboring hubs of Dubai and Abu Dhabi that serve as homes for Emirates, the industry’s largest long-haul carrier, and Etihad, respectively.

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