Perhaps this is nothing surprising, after all, we are aware that the catastrophic consequence of Covid-19 for aviation was precisely that of not allowing airlines and airports to be able to bear the costs and therefore having to lay off thousands of people.
IATA once again warns that new statistics show that airlines are unable to keep costs low to cope with lost revenue and avoid bankruptcy.
The new data shows that the 29% loss initially predicted will actually be 46%. It was hoped for a recovery in the last quarter of 2020, but as we well know, this has not happened, therefore the losses increase against all predictions.
IATA expects traffic to be down by 66% for the whole of 2020 compared to 2019, with a drop in demand in December of 68%. Probably not much will change in the first quarter of 2021, as long as there are restrictions on travel and mandatory quarantines upon arrival at destination.
On average, airlines still have 8.5 months to survive and are unable to reduce costs. They necessarily need government support. Will they ever get it?
Most of the long-haul aircraft have been left on the ground to favour medium and short-haul flights, which however have higher costs. Furthermore, 60% of the world fleet is leased, so the cost of a grounded plane is always present.
IATA warns that the numbers could be drastic. They believe that 1.3 million jobs are at risk, triggering a domino effect bringing that value to potentially 3.5 million.
Nobody could have imagined this. We can’t control social events in the world, but we can control our choices. Those who want to become airline pilots better wait a bit, but in the meantime, we must all try to speed up the “cure” of this epidemic to allow world aviation to get back to where it was.