25m jobs at risk, as IATA seeks contingencies for licences renewal

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released a new analysis showing that some 25 million jobs are at risk of disappearing with plummeting demand for air travel amid the COVID-19 crisis.

This is coming as the association disclosed that they would need contingencies for licenses and certifications that have expired, describing as major tasks that are ahead of them.

The clearing house for global airlines said globally, the livelihoods of some 65.5 million people are dependent on the aviation industry, including sectors such as travel and tourism. Among these are 2.7 million airlines jobs.

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In a scenario of severe travel restrictions lasting for three months, IATA research calculates that 25 million jobs in aviation and related sectors are endangered across the world:

The breakdown shows that 11.2 million jobs in Asia-Pacific are at risk; 5.6 million to go in Europe; 2.9 million jobs in Latin America, two million in Africa, two million in  North America and 900, 000 job cut in the Middle East.

In the same scenario, airlines are expected to see full-year passenger revenues fall by $252 billion (-44%) in 2020 compared to 2019, adding that the second quarter is the most critical with demand falling 70 per cent at its worst point, and airlines burning through $61 billion in cash.

Airlines are calling on governments to provide immediate financial aid to help airlines to remain viable businesses able to lead the recovery when the pandemic is contained.

Specifically, IATA called for: Direct financial support in the form of loans, loan guarantees and support for the corporate bond market and tax relief.

Director-General and CEO of IATA, Alexandre deJuniac said, “There are no words to adequately describe the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the airline industry. And the economic pain will be shared by 25 million people who work in jobs dependent upon airlines. Airlines must be viable businesses so that they can lead the recovery when the pandemic is contained. A lifeline to the airlines now is critical”.

Rebooting the industry and looking ahead alongside vital financial relief, he said the industry would also need careful planning and coordination to ensure that airlines are ready when the pandemic is contained.

The IATA chief lamented that they have never shuttered the industry on this scale before, stressing that consequently; they have no experience in starting it up, admitting that it would be complicated.

“At the practical level, we will need contingencies for licenses and certifications that have expired. We will have to adapt operations and processes to avoid reinfections via imported cases. And we must find a predictable and efficient approach to managing travel restrictions which need to be lifted before we can get back to work. These are just some of the major tasks that are ahead of us. And to be successful, industry and government must be aligned and working together,” said de Juniac.

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