The global spread of Covid-19 could cost airlines up to $113 billion as the airline industry group International Air Transport Association scrapped its $29.3 billion estimate from last month.
• The International Air Transport Association estimated last month that coronavirus could cause global airlines’ revenues to drop by $29.3 billion, but those estimates were based on the pneumonia-like virus being confined to China.
• Cases of the coronavirus have now been reported in around 80 countries, meaning the impact of travel restrictions, flight cancellations and lower demand could now cost commercial carriers up to $113 billion this year, IATA predicts.
• In the best case scenario, a drop in passenger demand in markets with at least 100 cases of coronavirus could cost global airlines $63 billion, mostly in Italy and China, but also in Singapore, Japan, South Korea, France, Iran and Germany.
• Airlines could get some relief from low oil prices helping to pare back global fuel bills by $28 billion, IATA said.
Crucial comment: IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac said: “The turn of events as a result of COVID-19 is almost without precedent. In little over two months, the industry’s prospects in much of the world have taken a dramatic turn for the worse.
“It is unclear how the virus will develop, but whether we see the impact contained to a few markets and a $63 billion revenue loss, or a broader impact leading to a $113 billion loss of revenue, this is a crisis.”
Key background: Airlines have been one of the businesses worst affected by the Covid-19 outbreak as travel restrictions and demand for travel have cut into ticket sales. IATA’s revised outlook comes as British airline Flybe, a critical regional carrier, collapsed due to falling demand and its long-running financial difficulties.