The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released its initial assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 and finds that passenger demand for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region could fall by as much as 13%.
Considering that growth for the region’s airlines was forecast to be 4.8%, the net impact will be an 8.2% full-year contraction compared to 2019 demand levels. In this scenario, that would translate into a USD 27.8 billion revenue loss in 2020 for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region – the bulk of which would be borne by carriers registered in China.
The forecast suggests USD 12.8 billion would be lost in the China domestic market alone. In the same scenario, carriers outside Asia-Pacific are forecast to bear a revenue loss of USD 1.5 billion, assuming the loss of demand is limited to markets linked to China.
This would bring total global lost revenue to USD 29.3 billion (5% lower passenger revenues compared to what IATA forecast in December) and represent a 4.7% hit to global demand.
“These are challenging times for the global air transport industry. Stopping the spread of the virus is the top priority. Airlines are following the guidance of the World Health Organisation and other public health authorities to keep passengers safe, the world connected, and the virus contained,” said Alexandre de Juniac, director general of IATA.