The International Air Transport Association (Iata) announced on Friday that the global air industry was expected to lose billions in revenue following the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Iata director general, Alexandre de Juniac, said in a statement that the outbreak would have a severe financial impact on airlines, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, with initial assessments pointing to a staggering $29.3bn loss for the industry in 2020.
“We estimate that global traffic will be reduced by 4.7%, which could more than offset the growth we previously forecast and cause the first overall decline in demand since the global financial crisis of 2008-09.
“That scenario would translate into lost passenger revenues of $29.3 billion.”
De Juniac added: “Airlines are making difficult decisions to cut capacity and, in some cases, routes. Lower fuel costs will help offset some of the lost revenue. This will be a very tough year for airlines.”
The Asia-Pacific region is likely to be hit the hardest by the outbreak with China, the world’s leading trader of goods, expected to take a $12.8bn loss on its own.
Carriers outside the Asia-Pacific region, however, are expected to lose $1.5bn compared to the total loss of revenue predicted for 2020. – Bjorn Vorster