Losses mount for grounded airlines

SINGAPORE, 27 April 2020: Airlines in the Asia-Pacific face the largest revenue declines as Covid-19 impacts on countries in the region, according to the latest estimates from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

IATA released an updated analysis showing that the COVID-19 crisis will see global airline passenger revenues drop by USD314 billion in 2020, a 55% decline compared to 2019.

Airlines in the  Asia Pacific will see the largest revenue drop of US$113 billion in 2020 compared to 2019 (-US$88 billion in 24 March estimate), and a 50% fall in passenger demand in 2020 compared to 2019 (-37% in 24 March estimate). These estimates are based on a scenario of severe travel restrictions lasting for three months, with a gradual lifting of restrictions in domestic markets, followed by regional and intercontinental.

“The situation is deteriorating.  Airlines are in survival mode. They face a liquidity crisis with a USD61 billion cash burn in the second quarter. We have seen the first airline casualty in the region (Virgin Australia),” said IATA’s regional vice president, Asia-Pacific Conrad Clifford.

“There will be more casualties if governments do not step in urgently to ensure airlines have sufficient cash flow to tide them over this period.”

 He identified India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand as priority countries that need to take action.

IATA is calling for a combination of direct financial support loans, loan guarantees and support for the corporate bond market tax relief.

“Providing support for airlines has a broader economic implication. Jobs across many sectors will be impacted if airlines do not survive the Covid-19 crisis. Every airline job supports another 24 in the travel and tourism value chain. In Asia-Pacific, 11.2 million jobs are at risk, including those that are dependent on the aviation industry, such as travel and tourism,” said Clifford.

“After the Covid-19 pandemic is contained, governments will need airlines to support the economic recovery, connect manufacturing hubs and support tourism. That’s why they need to act now – and urgently – before it is too late,” said Clifford.

Details of the latest country impact.

  Percentage change in passenger demand (2020 vs 2019) Passenger demand impact (origin-destination volumes – 2020 vs 2019) Revenue impact (USD, millions – 2020 vs 2019)   Potential jobs impact (2020 vs 2019)
Australia -51% -50,510,000 -14,255 -362,100
Bangladesh -48% -5,541,000 -1,073 -61,900
Brunei Darussalam -50% -605,000 -114 -8,500
Cambodia -45% -5,390,000 -866 -770,000
Fiji -51% -1,158,000 -305 -65,100
India -47% -89,764,000 -11,221 -2,932,900
Indonesia -49% -59,756,000 -8,225 -2,069,000
Japan -50% -93,862,000 -22,625 -585,900
Laos -51% -1,618,000 -220 -23,800
Malaysia -51% -33,513,000 -4,236 -220,500
Maldives -51% -2,747,000 -639 -37,200
Myanmar -48% -4,377,000 -691 -245,200
Nepal -51% -3,422,000 -522 -229,900
New Zealand -50% -12,865,000 -3,388 -170,100
Pakistan -52% -9,866,000 -1,829 -259,400
Philippines -47% -28,852,000 -4,481 -548,300
Republic of Korea -52% -59,219,000 -10,755 -371,200
Singapore -48% -23,897,000 -6,732 -169,000
Sri Lanka -58% -4,049,000 -715 -408,200
Thailand -52% -55,562,000 -8,289 -2,167,000
Vietnam -45% -31,902,000 -4,347 -989,500