Aviation industry needs another $80 billion to survive: IATA chief
- Alexandre de Juniac said the industry would need another $80 billion in aid
- Juniac added that nearly 40 airlines are in a very difficult situation
- Travel restrictions are being reimposed in several European countries
Head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Alexandre de Juniac on Friday stated that the aviation industry would need another $80 billion to continue to stay in business amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Juniac stated, “For the coming months, the industry is estimated to need $70-$80 billion (59 to 67 billion euros) in additional aid.”
In an interview with French daily La Tribune, Juniac added, “Otherwise they won't survive."
The aviation industry is one of the sectors worst hit by measures adopted by governments to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but they have also received an estimated $160 billion in aid.
"The longer the crisis lasts, the greater the risk for bankruptcies," he was quoted as saying by the daily.
"Nearly 40 airlines are in a very difficult situation or are under bankruptcy protection or administration," the IATA added.
Travel restrictions imposed during the first wave of the pandemic forced many airlines to ground almost their entire fleets. Many governments stepped in with various forms of aid such as loans, cash injections, and support for furloughed workers.
While traffic picked up as restrictions were eased, it has begun to slow again in recent weeks as the second wave of coronavirus hit numerous countries.
IATA expects traffic to be down by 66% for 2020 as a whole.
It believes the traffic won't return to its 2019 level before 2024 -- an estimation based on the expectation of a vaccine becoming available in mid-2021.
It forecasts the revenue of airlines to come in at $419 billion, half of the 2019 level.
De Juniac said airlines will suffer losses in the order of $100 billion, up from previous estimates of $87 billion.
Asked about whether the crisis would encourage consolidation in the sector, Juniac said that in order for that "the companies need the means to buy one another" but that at the moment "they are in survival mode".
But he said there were likely to be fewer airlines as carriers go bust and that the ones which survive are likely to be smaller as they close routes and sell off aircraft.
"We'll have smaller companies, but they will probably be pretty strong, dynamic and ready to go. And once they do, I think the recovery will be quick and strong," said de Juniac.
The comments by de Juniac come days ahead of IATA's annual meeting that will bring together representatives of 290 airlines throughout the world.