Nigeria is at risk of loosing over 2 million overseas-bound passenger and $434 million revenue loss, if the Coronavirus continues to spread. This information was disclosed by The International Air Transport Association (IATA). IATA, has appealed to government in Africa and the Middle East to provide emergency support to airlines, due to the pandemic.
There is less demand in air travels and this problem is not restricted to Nigeria alone but spreads across regions. IATA, had earlier published that Nigeria could loose 853,000 passengers and $170 million in base revenues. But as the pandemic continues to spread, the figures have gone up. Over 2 million passengers and $434 million of revenue could be lost as well.
IATA’s Director General band Chief Executive officer, Alexdre Dr Junaic, in a statement said – “Stopping the spread of Covid-19 is the top priority of governments. But they must realise that the public health emergency has now become a disaster for economies and aviation. The level of the current industry crisis is much worse and global than 9/11, SARS or the 2008 Global financial crisis.
Airlines Are Making Decisions.
Flights are being banned and there is extensive cost cutting measures being put in place due to the pandemic. However, airlines revenue are dropping drastically due to flight bans.
One of Nigeria’s private airline, Air Peace, said it took the decision to cut down flights due to heavy decline in passengers. The Chief Operating Officer (COO) Toyin Olajide, disclosed that the airline is reducing domestic flights. Some international operations will be limited while some will be suspended.
Africa’s air transport industry economic contribution is estimated at $55.8 billion. 6.2 million jobs were available and the industry contributed 2.6%to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
What’s The Way Forward.
IATA has estimated a $200 billion emergency aid as support measures are needed urgently. Other options include – direct financial support to passenger and cargo carriers to compensate for reduced revenue due to the pandemic.
Loans and support for the corporate bond market by government or Central banks. Also, refund on payroll taxes paid to date in 2020 or an extension of payment terms for the rest of 2020.
Temporary waiver of tickets taxes and other government imposed levies.
IATA Regional Vice President Africa, Muhammad Al Bakri, said Nigeria is amongst African countries that already committed national aid for Covid-19.