The IATA has predicted that huge losses are looming for the airline industry as carriers brace for the COVID-19 crisis to extend well into 2021.
The International Air Transport Association forecast that the sector will lose $157 billion this year and next due to the pandemic.
That’s muchworse than previous estimates. “This crisis is devastating and unrelenting,” IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, has said that local airline operators will not cut corners if they are not given bailout by the federal government.
Dr. Abdulmunaf Yunusa President, AON, said Nigerian operators will rather shut down their operations than cut corners in the face of the crises.
According to Yunusa : ” The attention of the Airline Operators of Nigeria(AON) has been drawn to the reports in certain news media, quoting a Senator, saying that as a result of the financial problems brought to the airlines by the effects of COVID-19 and, as result of lack of adequate government bailouts for the airline, that the airlines had resorted to cutting corners”.
“AON wishes to state categorically here that there is no iota of truth in this statement. Nigerian airlines have not cut corners, do not cut corners and will never cut corners. We want to believe that the Distinguished Senator was misunderstood and quoted out of context because there is never any available fact supporting such a conclusion”.
De Juniac said that COVID-19 made 2020 the worst financial year on record “bar none.” The industry group expects net losses to total$118.5 billion, worse than the$84.3 billion forecast in June. The promise of safe and effective vaccines has fed some optimism that travel can pick up next year. But vaccinating millions of people across borders will take time. IATA now thinks the airline industry will lose $38.7 billion in 2021, deeper than its previous $15.8 billion forecast. It expects the industry to start generating cash again in the fourth quarter of next year thanks to aggressive cost cutting and higher demand.