The international air transport association (IATA) is appealing to governments in Africa to provide emergency support to airlines because air transport they say supports 6.2 million jobs.

The aviation sector has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic leaving many airlines fighting for survival. Besides flight cancellations by passengers; several countries have imposed a complete ban on flights forcing airlines to ground their planes while putting their staff on unpaid leave.

International bookings in Africa went down roughly 20% in March and April; domestic bookings fell by about 15% in March and 25% in April, according to the organization

IATA estimates that airlines will need up to $200B to after the suspension of routes by governments and a decline in demand of up to 60% on remaining ones. Apart from financial aid, IATA has also asked that rules governing use of airport slots should be suspended for the rest of 2020 as well as pushing for the waiving of the mandatory 14 day quarantine requirement for airline crew on cargo planes as part of measures to ensure goods continue to flow across the globe. The association has also asked for a waiver on overfly fees and parking charges terming the current situation ‘unprecedented.’

Since the coronavirus outbreak, African airlines have lost US$4.4 billion in revenue as at 11 March 2020.   

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