UN agency warns of another bad year for airlines

UN agency warns of another bad year for airlines

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Print this page Email A Friend!


MONTREAL, Canada (AFP) — The UN aviation agency on Friday predicted "prolonged depressed demand" for air travel and more financial woes for airlines, following a year of fewer flights and big losses blamed on the pandemic.

Air travel plunged 60 per cent in 2020 as nations closed borders and restricted travel to slow the spread of COVID-19, the International Civil Aviation Organization said in a report.

The near-term outlook, it said, "is for prolonged depressed demand, with downside risks to global air travel recovery predominating in the first quarter of 2021, and likely to be subject to further deterioration."

With just 1.8 billion passengers taking to the air during the first year of the pandemic, compared to 4.5 billion in 2019, airline losses reached US$370 billion, according to ICAO figures.

Airports and air navigation services providers lost a further US$115 billion and US$13 billion, respectively.

And severe liquidity strains, the ICAO said, are now "placing the industry's financial viability in question and threatening millions of jobs around the world."

The situation has also been devastating for tourism, given that half of international holidaymakers used air travel in the past.

A recovery, the ICAO said, will hinge on the successful rollout of vaccines, which have now started to be distributed.

Several governments have also provided or are in talks with carriers about bailouts.

The plunge in air travel began in January 2020, but was limited to a few countries. As the novel coronavirus spread, air transport "came to a virtual standstill" by the end of March, the ICAO said.

A month later, with the introduction of wide-scale lockdowns, border closures and travel restrictions around the world, passenger numbers dropped 92 per cent from 2019 levels.

Passenger traffic then saw a moderate rebound during the usually busy summer travel period, but again dropped off in the last four months of 2020, coinciding with a second wave of COVID-19 infections triggering fresh restrictions.

The ICAO noted that domestic travel has demonstrated stronger resilience, particularly in China and Russia, where passenger numbers have already returned to the pre-pandemic levels.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT