According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Middle East airlines lost $7.1 billion in 2020, with losses of $68.47 for each passenger flown and traffic at less than 20 per cent of 2019 levels.
According to IATA data, passenger traffic in the region dropped 82.3 per cent in January compared with January 2019.
More than 1.7 million jobs in the Middle East and $105.7 billion in GDP have been put at risk because of the ongoing crisis, IATA stated as it called on governments in the region to create a process to relaunch operations period following the COVID-19 conference.
In 2020, airlines in the Middle East received government aid totalling $4.8 billion, $4.1 billion provided via cash injections, the IATA said.
Still, several airlines face bankruptcy or business administration due to this, it said.
AIRLINES will need a financially viable air transport sector to energize the recovery. The government and industry must be prepared, said Kamil Al-Awadhi, IATA regional vice president (Africa and the Middle East).
While governments have provided relief to airlines while avoiding massive failures that would have jeopardized a restart, Airlines must still prepare to spend more to avert greater risks for their economies.
“With no clear timeline to recovery, the situation is far from resolved,” he said.