The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced it doesn’t believe the airline industry will turn cash-positive until 2022.
According to IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac, officials revealed that carriers around the world are expected to burn through at least $75 billion in cash in 2021, as compared to the group’s original estimate of $48 billion.
While de Juniac and IATA members initially projected a rebound in the fourth quarter of 2021, updated research now indicates losses of between $7 billion and $16 billion. If travel restrictions aren’t lifted, data suggests $95 billion in industrywide cash burn for 2021.
“It is already clear that the first half of 2021 will be worse than earlier anticipated,” de Juniac said. “This is because governments have tightened travel restrictions in response to new Covid-19 variants. Forward bookings for summer are currently 78 percent below levels in February 2019.”
The IATA report also focuses on the good news on vaccine distribution and growing testing capacity, with airlines being forced to prioritize a plan for the recovery, digitally manage health credentials and secure global standards to record test results and vaccinations.
Along with establishing global standards to record vaccinations and test results via the IATA’s COVID Travel Pass, carriers must ensure their processes are secure, work with existing systems, align with global standards and respect data privacy.
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