The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has noted that the far-reaching economic impact of COVID-19 could cost the aviation industry as much as $434 million (around N159.278 billion) together with massive job cuts in the region of 22,000 in the nearest future.
In patronage terms, the sector stands the chance of recording a shortfall of 2.2 million in passenger volumes, up from the 853,000 projected earlier in the light of the current development, it said on Thursday.
International travel traffic has come under increasing strain in the past few days with government’s embargo on flights to 13 coronavirus high-risk countries notably Italy, the UK, the US and Italy.
West Africa-based carrier, Arik Air, had Wednesday announced suspension of flights from Nigeria to Ghana, Liberia and Senegal as its own intervention to contain spread.
IATA, which monitors trends in global air travels with coverage of over 290 airlines, observed that passenger flights had been cancelled in thousands in Africa between January ending and now.
It foresaw that the disruption could escalate tremendously in the days ahead on the imposition of stricter measures on air travel across the world.
“International bookings in Africa are down roughly 20 per cent in March and April, domestic bookings have fallen by about 15 per cent in March and 25 per cent in April, according to the latest data.
“African airlines had lost $4.4bn in revenue as of March 11, 2020. Ticket refunds have increased by 75 per cent in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 (01 February – 11 March),” an IATA release says.
The statement remarks that recession-held South Africa could shed six million passengers, 102,000 jobs and have its aviation revenue eroded by $1.2 billion.
Kenya is anticipated to lose $320 million and 36,800 jobs, Rwanda $52 million and 3,000 jobs, and Ethiopia $202 million and 98,400.
Alexander de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive, enjoined governments to provide support that could succour the industry in these hard times.
“The scale of the current industry crisis is much worse and far more widespread than 9/11, SARS or the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
“Airlines are fighting for survival. Many routes have been suspended in Africa and Middle East and airlines have seen demand fall by as much as 60 per cent on remaining ones,” he said.
Join the conversation
INVESTIGATION… Ten years after, communities count losses as AfDB, Cross River govt abandon road project
Ten years after the Cross River State government and African Development Bank (AFDB) jointly awarded the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Benue border road for...
INVESTIGATION….N.3bn down the drain: Why water projects for Enugu communities don’t work
In this concluding part, ARINZE CHIJIOKE talks about some of the projects that are serving the people and how various WASH programmes have failed to tackle...
INVESTIGATION…PARKVIEW ESTATE: Exclusive images of how billionaire property developer incurred Lagos govt‘s anger
Many have seen the demolished building, but not many know the circumstances that led to the teardown of the about...
INVESTIGATION… N.3bn down the drain, as Enugu communities suffer from dry taps
In November 2020, three organizations and the Enugu State government celebrated the completion of N300 million worth of projects that were expected...
INVESTIGATION… How herdsmen crisis compounds woes of already deprived Ogun communities
Earlier in January, the Nigerian media space was awash with reports of violence between herders and farmers across the country....