The Nigeria airline association under the aegis of International Air Transport Association (IATA), has lament to the federal government to rescue them from the harsh economic conditions due to the COVID-19 harsh economy condition, since the country came out from the nationwide lock-down the economy condition has worsen and heading to another recession.
The Nigeria airline sector are one of the few sector badly hit by the harsh economy condition globally, where other countries government are assisting them so they can recover from the economy trauma, which the COVID-19 has bring, the Nigeria union has urge the federal government to do same for them, temporary waivers or suspensions of government charges, taxes and fees paid by airlines and passengers to reduce flight costs for passengers.
Also proposed is advance tickets, which the governments can use for future trips or distribute to the traveling public in the form of vouchers to support travel and tourism and passenger travel subsidies or as a percentage cash-back on overall travel costs.
The airlines called on governments to add market stimulation measures to the supports they are giving to keep aviation financially viable.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have helped airlines survive the crisis with approximately $173 billion in various forms of financial support.
The Nigerian government, particularly, pledged to support local airlines with N4 billion, which the operators are yet to receive.
IATA said more support would be needed in the form of fiscal stimulus. Many of the support packages are running out while industry losses continue to mount. Airline losses are now forecast to exceed $118 billion this year and nearly $39 billion in 2021. The industry is expected to continue burning out cash at a rate of almost $7 billion per month in the first half of 2021.
Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of IATA, Alexandre de Juniac, advised that financial support must come in ways that do not further inflate debt, which has risen by 51.4 per cent during the crisis to $651 billion.
“To put this into perspective, total industry revenue in 2021 is expected to be $459 billion. Financially-viable airlines will be needed to lead the economic recovery from the depths of the COVID-19 crisis. Government support of $173 billion has helped many survive.