COVID-19 which reportedly started in the city of Wuhan in China has claimed many lives globally and has also forced countries to close their borders and airspace in a bid to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
These lockdowns have however affected the aviation industry the most as majority of domestic, regional and international flight has been suspended.
However, IATA said this suspension of flights, coupled with closure of some tourist sites across the world will have a huge impact on the aviation sector.
In a statement, IATA is of the view that there is a huge need for relief measures in Africa as the COVID-19 crisis will see airlines on the continent lose as much as US$6 billion this year while also claiming half of the jobs in the sector.
“The region’s airlines could lose US$6 billion of passenger revenue compared to 2019. That is US$2 billion more than was expected at the beginning of the month.
“Job losses in aviation and related industries could grow to 3.1 million. That is half of the region’s 6.2 million aviation-related employment. The previous estimate was 2 million,” read the statement.
Air Zimbabwe is said to be currently operating one plane as part of its fleet is grounded due to lack of maintenance spare parts.
The Airline also announced that it had successfully sent one of its planes to Ethiopia for maintenance and is hopeful of leasing it out to undisclosed operators.
Meanwhile, IATA has also revealed that full-year 2020 traffic is expected to plummet by 51% compared to 2019. The association had previously estimated that the fall would be 32%.
Gross Domestic Product supported by aviation in Africa could fall by US$28 billion from US$56 billion. The previous estimate was $17.8 billion
According to IATA, governments need to step up their support for the industry to reduce the impact on jobs and effects to the broader economy, adding that some countries have already started the initiatives towards the direction.
“To minimize the impact on jobs and the broader African economy it is vital that governments step up their efforts to aid the industry.
“Some governments in Africa have already taken direct action to support aviation,” said the association.
Countries that have taken action include Senegal which announced a US$128 million in relief for the Tourism and Air Transport sector, Seychelles which has waived all landing and parking fees for April to December 2020 and Cote d’Ivoire which has waived its Tourism Tax for transit passengers.
As part of its economic support intervention, South Africa is deferring payroll, income and carbon taxes across all industries, which will also benefit airlines domiciled in that country.
African Countries with airlines hardest hit by the effects of COVID-19 include:
14.5 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$3.02 billion revenue loss, risking 252,100 jobs and US$5.1 billion in contribution to South Africa’s economy
4.7 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.99 billion revenue loss, risking 125,400 jobs and US$0.89 billion in contribution to Nigeria’s economy
2.5 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.43 billion revenue loss, risking 500,500 jobs and US$1.9 billion in contribution to Ethiopia’s economy
3.5 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.73 billion revenue loss, risking 193,300 jobs and US$1.6 billion in contribution to Kenya’s economy
1.5 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.31billion revenue loss, risking 336,200 jobs and US$1.5 billion in contribution to Tanzania’s economy
3.5 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.54 billion revenue loss, risking 73,700 jobs and US$2 billion in contribution to Mauritius’ economy
1.4 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.13 billion revenue loss, risking 126,400 jobs and US$0.2 billion in contribution to Mozambique’s economy
2.8 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.38 billion revenue loss, risking 284,300 jobs and US$1.6 billion in contribution to Ghana’s economy
2.6 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.33 billion revenue loss, risking 156,200 jobs and US$0.64 billion in contribution to Senegal’s economy
2.2 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.2 billion revenue loss, risking 46,700 jobs and US$0.48 billion in contribution to Nigeria’s economy