Air cargo business not enough to sustain aviation industry - IATA

Air Cargo 1 LMgUkvl 202004 The IATA is urging governments to ease coronavirus travel restrictions

Thu, 4 Mar 2021 Source: iata.org

Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO, IATA has indicated that until governments ease travel restrictions, growth in cargo will not be enough to ensure significant improvement in the aviation industry.

He stated this at the IATA media briefing held earlier this week.

Juniac stated: “What Brian Pearce, IATA’s Chief Economist, has shared about the industry’s performance in January gives us some confidence. The growth in cargo is a very good indicator. A growing cargo business is not enough to stem industry losses. But it is a vital lifeline of cash for many airlines. If air cargo was not doing as well, the industry as a whole would be in even deeper trouble.

At -72% compared to 2019, the January passenger performance is a deep concern. It is even worse than the -69% in December. The vaccine roll-out and the increase in testing capacity—particularly as governments show renewed interest in rapid antigen tests—is good news. But until governments ease travel restrictions a significant improvement is unlikely.

“We continue to focus on being prepared for when governments are able to ease restrictions”.

According to IATA’s DG and CEO, the body has asked governments to share their plans and benchmarks for re-opening; those discussions are ongoing.

“Understanding government plans is important because restarting an airline is not like flipping a switch. Airlines need to ready their crew and aircraft. After a year of lockdowns, this requires checks and coordination. On top of that airlines will need time to market the potential services so that the re-start of operations will have some passengers.”

“We understand how many people and jobs are counting on us to restart operations as soon as governments will allow. So we want to ready from day one,” Alexandre de Juniac emphasised.

Source: iata.org
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