Airlines will need between $ 70-80 billion in additional aid from governments to survive the covid-19 crisis that it is depleting its treasury, Alexandre de Juniac, general director of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), told the French newspaper La Tribune.
The sector has already received 160,000 million dollars in aid from governments, but “for the next few months, the needs of the industry are estimated at between 70,000 and 80,000 million dollars in additional aid.
Otherwise, “companies will not survive”De Juniac said in an interview coinciding with the Paris Air Forum, a meeting dedicated to air transport.
“The longer the crisis lasts, the greater the risk of bankruptcies,” De Juniac said. “Almost 40” companies are “in very great difficulties or in safeguard or bankruptcy proceedings.”
Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, which grounded almost the entire world fleet For several weeks at the beginning of the year, governments have provided help to businesses in various forms (loans, direct aid, help to maintain jobs).
But with the second wave of coronavirus, traffic could not be reactivated and companies will continue to post losses.
This year they are likely to approach “$ 100 billion instead of the 87 billion previously announced,” according to De Juniac.
On possible mergers in the sector, the head of IATA said that this would require “that companies have the means to buy from each other”, at a time when They are “in survival mode.”
However, in the long term, he considers it “probable” that there will be “fewer players, due to bankruptcies, and that these players will be a little smaller, because they will have been forced to sell a large part of their fleet or close routes, or have more limited flight schedules ”.
IATA meets starting Monday for the organization’s annual general assembly, which brings together 290 airlines of all the world.