The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said that 25 million jobs could be at risk due to the plummeting demand for air travel amid the coronavirus (covid-19) crisis.

    New analysis from the association indicates that 65.5 million people are dependent on the aviation industry, including sectors such as travel and tourism. Among these are 2.7 million airlines jobs.

    In a scenario of severe travel restrictions lasting for three months, IATA research calculates that 25 million jobs in aviation and related sectors are in danger across the world, including  11.2 million jobs in Asia-Pacific; 5.6 million jobs in Europe; 2.9 million jobs in Latin America; 2 million jobs in North America; 2 million jobs in Africa; and 0.9 million jobs in the Middle East.

    In the same scenario, airlines are expected to see full year passenger revenues fall by $252 billion (-44 per cent) in 2020 compared to 2019. The second quarter is the most critical with demand falling 70 per cent at its worst point, and airlines burning through $61 billion in cash.

    Airlines are calling on governments to provide immediate financial aid to help airlines to remain viable businesses able to lead the recovery when the pandemic is contained. Specifically, IATA calls for direct financial support; loans, loan guarantees and support for the corporate bond market; tax relief.

    IATA’s director general, Alexandre de Juniac, said: “There are no words to adequately describe the devastating impact of covid-19 on the airline industry.

    “And the economic pain will be shared by 25 million people who work in jobs dependent upon airlines. Airlines must be viable businesses so that they can lead the recovery when the pandemic is contained. A lifeline to the airlines now is critical.”

    Alongside vital financial relief, IATA has said that the industry will also need careful planning and coordination to ensure that airlines are ready when the pandemic is contained.

    “We have never shuttered the industry on this scale before,” continued Juniac.

    “Consequently, we have no experience in starting it up. It will be complicated. At the practical level, we will need contingencies for licenses and certifications that have expired. ”

    Looking ahead, IATA is scoping a comprehensive approach to re-booting the industry when governments and public health authorities allow, with initial steps including a series of virtual meetings—or summits—on a regional basis, bringing together governments and industry stakeholders.

    Summit dates are being confirmed in the expectation of a start before the end of April.

    Last month, IATA warned that the global airline revenue loss could be as high as $252 billion.

    Visit iata.org for more information.