The coronavirus pandemic is expected to impact more than 29 lakh jobs in the Indian aviation and dependent industries, global airlines’ grouping IATA said on Friday. Commercial flight services in the country remain suspended till May 3 amid the nationwide lockdown to curb the spreading of coronavirus infections.
Besides, the pandemic and subsequent lockdown have significantly impacted economic activities, with aviation and tourism among the worst affected segments. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said its latest estimates indicate a worsening of the country impact from the COVID-19 crisis in the Asia-Pacific region.
About India, IATA said the pandemic is expected to potentially impact 29,32,900 jobs in the country’s aviation and its dependent industries. The passenger traffic has declined 47 per cent. Besides, the grouping noted that the revenue impact for airlines operating to and from the Indian market would be USD 11.221 billion (over Rs 85,000 crore) This refers to the fall in passenger revenue compared to 2019.
The “passenger demand impact (origin destination volumes)” is a fall of more than 8.97 crore. All the figures are for the period of 2020 so far compared to the whole of 2019. IATA is a grouping of nearly 290 airlines, including Air India, Vistara, IndiGo and SpiceJet.
On April 14, IATA said COVID-19 crisis would see global airline passenger revenues drop by USD 314 billion this year, a fall of 55 per cent compared to 2019. Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region would record the largest revenue drop of USD 113 billion in 2020 compared to last year.
These estimates are based on a scenario of severe travel restrictions lasting for three months, with a gradual lifting of restrictions in domestic markets, followed by regional and intercontinental, as per IATA. “The situation is deteriorating. Airlines are in survival mode. They face a liquidity crisis with a USD 61 billion cash burn in the second quarter,” Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Regional Vice President (Asia-Pacific) said.
According to him, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand are priority countries that need to take action. Further, the grouping called for a combination of direct financial support, loans, loan guarantees and support for the corporate bond market, and tax relief for the airlines industry.
“Providing support for airlines has a broader economic implication. Jobs across many sectors will be impacted if airlines do not survive the COVID-19 crisis. Every airline job supports another 24 in the travel and tourism value chain.
“In Asia-Pacific, 11.2 million jobs are at risk, including those that are dependent on the aviation industry, such as travel and tourism,” Clifford said.