The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said that Nigerian airlines lost over $2.09 billion in April and June 2020 due to travel restrictions posed by the coronavirus pandemic. This was contained in a report released by the association, titled “Quarantine measures threaten aviation restart in Africa and the Middle East”.
According to the report, the IATA noted that the worst-hit sector in Africa and the Middle East was the aviation sector, with more than 8.6 million jobs at risk. It said about 125,400 jobs were at risk in April 2020 while 139,500 jobs were at risk in June 2020.
Also, passenger numbers in Nigeria lessened by 4.7 million and 5.32 million in April and June respectively, while the global passenger demand for air transport reduced by 91.3% as of June.
Reacting to this, the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the IATA, Alexander de Juniac, said; “May was not quite as terrible as April. That’s about the best thing that can be said.
“As predicted, the first improvements in passenger demand are occurring in domestic markets. International traffic remained virtually stopped in May.
“We are only at the very beginning of a long and difficult recovery. And there is tremendous uncertainty about what impact a resurgence of new COVID-19 cases in key markets could have.”
The IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and Middle East, Mohammed Albakri, said; “It is critical that AME governments implement alternatives to quarantine measures. AME has the highest number of countries in the world with government-imposed quarantine measures on arriving passengers.
“The region is effectively in complete lockdown with the travel and tourism sector shuttered. This is detrimental in a region where 8.6 million people depend on aviation for their livelihoods.”