The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said that outlook for carriers in the Middle East is expected to improve this year, however, the carriers in the region will still incur losses of around $4.2 billion. In its latest report, IATA revealed that the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on travel demand and that net profit margin for the regions carriers will fall by 13.8 percent.
Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general said that the crisis is longer and deeper than anyone could have expected. Losses will be reduced from 2020 but the pain of the crisis increases.
In an earlier report released in March, IATA said that the situation will further worsen for the aviation industry before a recovery takes place. According to data released by IATA, January air passenger traffic in the region was down 82.3 per cent compared to January 2019.
Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA regional vice-president for Africa and the Middle East told the media, “Re-establishing air connectivity will energise the economic recovery from Covid-19. With millions of jobs at risk from the prolonged shutdown, not a day should be lost once the epidemiological situation enables a re-opening.
“This is a unique situation. But we have good practices to rely on. Safety is the top priority for anything associated with aviation. That is because governments have long-established global best practices for working together with industry and with each other. This same approach will help the restart. There are two ends to every route. Both must be prepared, or the restart cannot happen.”