The International Air Transport Association has updated its analysis of the financial impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency on the global air transport industry. IATA now sees 2020 global revenue losses for the passenger business of between $63 billion and $113 billion. IATA’s previous analysis published on Feb. 20 put lost revenues at $29.3 billion.
The earlier estimates were based on a scenario that would limit the impact of COVID-19 mostly to markets associated with China. Since that time, the virus has spread to over 80 countries and forward bookings globally have been severely impacted, according to IATA.
In IATA’s analysis, the potential impact on passenger traffic is based on two possible scenarios: An estimated $63 billion drop in revenue could result from a scenario where COVID-19 is contained in current markets with over 100 cases as of March 2 followed by a V-shaped recovery. If the virus spreads further, losses could mount to as high as $113 billion, equivalent to what the industry experienced in the Global Financial Crisis.
“The turn of events as a result of COVID-19 is almost without precedent. In little over two months, the industry’s prospects in much of the world have taken a dramatic turn for the worse,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO. “Many airlines are cutting capacity and taking emergency measures to reduce costs. As governments look to stimulus measures, the airline industry will need consideration for relief on taxes, charges and slot allocation. These are extraordinary times,” de Juniac added.