IATA urges Middle East and Africa to support airlines
Friday, 03 20 2020, Category: Economy, Country: World
The International Air and Transport Association (IATA) has appealed to governments in the Middle East and Africa to support the aviation industry, as it takes major blows from the coronavirus outbreak.
“Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is the top priority of governments. But they must be aware that the public health emergency has now become a catastrophe for economies and for aviation,” Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director-General and CEO said.
De Juniac said “airlines are fighting for survival,” noting air demand fell by “as much as 60 percent.”
“Millions of jobs are at stake. Airlines need urgent government action if they are to emerge from this in a fit state to help the world recover, once COVID-19 is beaten,” he added.
The IATA chief said: “With average cash reserves of approximately two months in the region, airlines are facing a liquidity and existential crisis. Support measures are urgently needed.”
The company said emergency aid of up to $200 billion is required for the global aviation industry.
IATA has proposed a number of options for governments to consider, including the provision of direct financial support to passenger and cargo carriers.
Muhammad Al-Bakri, IATA Regional Vice President Africa, Middle East, said several governments in the region including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Nigeria and Mauritius have already pledged national aid against COVID-19.
Source: Arab News