Borders shut. Travel banned. Billions under lockdown. The pandemic has delivered an “unprecedented shock” to airlines with huge challenges ahead, the International Air Transport Association says. Demand for airplane travel has plummeted, with two million flights already cancelled, and the IATA estimates the industry will lose $252bn (£202bn) in 2020. Here’s the latest:
-American Airlines is requesting $12bnin support from the US government;
-Passenger numbers in Germany’s Frankfurt airport – a major international hub – have dropped 90.7%;
-British Airways has suspended all flightsto and from London Gatwick’s airport, and routes operating from Heathrow Airport are severely reduced;
-In the UK, the companies which manage baggage handling warned that they are close to collapse;
-On Monday, budget airline EasyJet grounded its whole fleet;
-US Congress last week set aside $50bn for airlines, with half the money offered as loans in exchange for not mandating leave of absence for employees until at least 30 September;
-Last week, the British chancellor said airlines should not turn to government first when seeking financial help.