Time is running out for some governments to offer the requisite financial relief to prop up the global aviation sector and ensure its recovery, say air transport associations.
In a joint message, Airports Council International (ACI) World and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have called for quick financial relief to help airport operators and airlines protect their operations and employees.
Both associations have once again acknowledged the crippling effect of the coronavirus (Covid-19) on global passenger networks and revenues, which continue to fall against even the most ruthless of cost-cutting mitigation measures.
ACI and IATA have pressed home the need for ‘urgent balanced support’ for the industry through channels such as taxation relief (including alleviation of payroll taxes, corporate taxes, concession fees or other government incomes); and loans, loan guarantees or direct support to maintain financial liquidity.
‘GOVERNMENTS WILL DEPEND ON AVIATION’
While some governments have recognised the need to act, the clock is ticking down for others to ‘keep the whole industry viable’ and to support a recovery plan that includes ground handlers and other airport service providers.
Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World said: “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.
“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 Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac added: “Governments will depend on aviation to be ready to lead an economic recovery when this pandemic is behind us.
“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.”