Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region will be the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis, with losses expected to be $29 billion for 2020. This is more than a third of the $84.3 billion industry losses globally, according to the International Air Transport Association(IATA). The Asia-Pacific region was the first region to feel the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis. The region’s airlines will see passenger demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometres, RPK) collapse 53.8 percent this year, while capacity (in available seat kilometres, ASK) will be reduced by 39.2 percent.
The year “2020 is the worst year in aviation history and airlines are in survival mode. The carriers in Asia-Pacific will experience the largest losses at US$29 billion. That’s a loss of US$30.09 per passenger. In this bleak outlook, the priority is for the region’s governments to facilitate the restart of air connectivity in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Take-off guidance and principles,” said Conrad Clifford, IATA’s regional vice president for Asia Pacific. “It will take a few years for the industry to get back to 2019 levels of activity. In the interim, governments will need to continue providing financial relief and assistance to airlines as well as flexibility in slot usage. We are also working with airports and air navigation service providers to identify areas of cooperation with a view to reducing costs for airlines,” said Clifford.