The figures are higher than IATA’s previous forecast released three weeks ago.
The UAE airlines will lose $6.8 billion (Dh25 billion) in revenues due to the impact of impact of coronavirus, putting 378,678 jobs at risk, according to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) latest data released on Thursday.
The figures are higher than IATA’s previous forecast released three weeks ago when it predicted $5.36 billion revenue loss and 287,863 jobs at stake in the UAE.
For Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest economy, IATA predicted $7.16 billion loss for airlines and 287,546 at stake in the kingdom.
Muhammad AlBakri, Iata vice-president for Africa and the Middle East, on Thursday predicted $66 billion impact to the Middle East due to the disruptions of air travel.
The global aviation body IATA is not satisfied with the response of the regional governments and urged them to bail out the airlines as they are fast running out of their cash reserves.
“We have not seen the desired movement and decision from the governments and decision-makers to come forward with economic stimulus packages for airlines to overcome the crisis and keep them alive. It has been 10 weeks that we are asking for help for the entire industry because of its importance for the region. However, prolonging it will put the airlines at higher risk as they are already burning through their cash reserves,” he said.
AlBakri said the best airlines in the region have 2-3 months of cash reserves only and they are burning it very fast.
He warned stressed that airlines role will be crucial during the post-Covid-19 recovery phase.
“We are not satisfied with the regional government’s response, but we are not losing hope. We know priority is health safety and governments are working hard to protect people. But we would likely them to prioritize aviation sector and announce rescue measures like Australia, China, the US and other countries have announced. Because it took governments years to build these airlines,” he said.
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