in Aerospace

ACI and IATA call on governments to protect aviation ops and jobs

Posted 1 May 2020 · Add Comment

Airports Council International (ACI) World and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have called for governments to quickly grant financial relief to assist airport operators and airlines during the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis and support the essential connectivity the industry will provide for economic recovery.



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The industry is united with governments around the world in efforts to stop the spread of the virus, and, in the face of massive government imposed travel restrictions, the industry is doing all it can to maintain air cargo operations vital to supporting global supply chains, including medical shipments critical to fighting COVID-19.

The economic impact of these measures on all involved in the global air transport industry has been severe. With passenger demand plummeting to unprecedented levels, revenues are falling beyond the ability of even the most extreme cost-cutting measures to mitigate. Airports and airlines continue to face a financial liquidity crisis.

The current state of the global air transport industry risks the loss of millions of jobs. The aviation industry supports 65.5 million jobs around the world, including 10.5 million people employed at airports and by airlines, and supports $2.7 trillion in world economic activity[1]. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, airports and airlines around the world are engaged in a battle to sustain essential operations and to preserve jobs.

ACI and IATA are calling for urgent balanced support to the industry via:
taxation relief, including alleviation of payroll taxes, corporate taxes, concession fees or other government incomes from the industry
loans, loan guarantees or direct support to maintain financial liquidity across the aviation ecosystem.

Some governments have recognized the urgency of action but time is running out for other governments to provide the necessary financial relief to keep the whole industry viable and ready to support a balanced recovery including ground handlers and other service providers at airports.

“The financial impact of the current crisis is unlike anything we have ever seen and requires urgent action by governments to assist the aviation industry to protect jobs, ensure essential operations, and plan for recovery,” ACI World Director General Angela Gittens said. “Urgent tax relief and direct financial assistance that is to the benefit of the entire aviation ecosystem is needed to help preserve millions of jobs, protect essential operations, and foster a balanced recovery. Preserving the continuity of operations for airports and airlines and protecting aviation jobs today will result in a faster economic recovery tomorrow.”

IATA’s Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said the situation could not be more dire.

“Governments will depend on aviation to be ready to lead an economic recovery when this pandemic is behind us,” Mr. de Juniac said. “Governments must act now with financial lifelines that only they can provide for airlines and airports to see them through these extraordinary times. Airlines and airports are in this together. The more financially stable our airport partners are, the more they can help the industry to drive a recovery in air travel that will jump start the global economy.”

IATA AGM and World Air Transport Summit rescheduled
IATA has also announced that it is rescheduling its 76th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit will take place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on 23rd-24th November 2020.

IATA’s 76th AGM and World Air Transport Summit will be hosted by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines at the RAI Convention Centre. The dates were selected in anticipation that government restrictions on travel will have been lifted and that the public health authorities in the Netherlands will permit large gatherings at that time. IATA will work with public health authorities to ensure that all precautions are taken for the meeting to be held safely.

“The fight against COVID-19 is the world’s top priority. The economic and social cost of beating the virus will be high. The extreme financial difficulty of the airline industry is a prime example of that. In the post-pandemic world, a viable air transport industry will be critical. It will be a leader in the economic recovery by performing its traditional role of linking people, goods and businesses globally. But we will be a changed industry. In anticipation that the world will have returned to sufficient normality by November, we will gather the world’s airlines to look ahead together as we address the biggest challenges we have ever faced. Aviation is the business of freedom. We are resilient. And this AGM will help us to build an even stronger future,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

 

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