The International Air Transport Association is appealing to governments in Africa and the Middle East to provide emergency support to airlines.
The move comes as carriers fight for survival following to the evaporation of air travel demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Stopping the spread of Covid-19 is the top priority of governments.
“But they must be aware that the public health emergency has now become a catastrophe for economies and for aviation.
“The scale of the current industry crisis is much worse and far more widespread than 9/11, SARS or the 2008 global financial crisis.
“Airlines are fighting for survival.
“Many routes have been suspended in Africa and Middle East and airlines have seen demand fall by as much as 60 per cent on remaining ones.
“Millions of jobs are at stake.
“Airlines need urgent government action if they are to emerge from this in a fit state to help the world recover, once Covid-19 is beaten,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director general.
Extensive cost cutting measures are being implemented by the region’s carriers to mitigate the financial impact of Covid-19.
However, due to flight bans as well as international and regional travel restrictions, airlines’ revenues are…