At a time when the economic situation facing the aviation industry is getting severe, with air passenger demand down to 80 per cent and airlines facing a liquidity crisis threatening the viability of 25 million jobs directly and indirectly dependent upon the sector, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) are jointly calling for support from governments to protect jobs and ensure that aviation services be maintained.
IATA’s Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said, “Direct financial support is essential to maintain jobs and ensure airlines can remain viable businesses. And when the world is ready to start travelling again, the global economy will need aviation at its best to help restore connectivity, tourism and global supply chains. That will require a harmonised approach with industry, workers and governments working together.”
“Airlines are facing the most critical period in the history of commercial aviation. Some governments have stepped in to help, and we thank them. But much, much more is needed,” de Junaic expressed.
In the joint statement, IATA and ITF called for governments to:
- Ensure that the protection of health workers caring for those with COVID-19 is prioritised.
- Coordinate carefully between each other and with industry to ensure harmonised and effective action to protect the safety of passengers and crew.
- Provide immediate financial and regulatory support for airlines, in order to maintain the sustainability of terms and conditions for air transport workers.
- Assist the industry to restart quickly by adapting regulations and lifting travel restrictions in a predictable and efficient manner.
ITF’s General Secretary Stephen Cotton said, “It is crucial that governments understand the importance of the aviation industry in rebuilding the global economy and support the industry. Workers and the industry have joined forces; we invite more governments to join us in a coordinated approach to keep the industry and its essential supply chains moving.”
“Bold decisions are required to invest in the future of airlines and protect job and livelihood of the transport workers who will lead the economic recovery when COVID-19 has been contained. IATA and ITF have a shared goal to ensure a sustainable future for the aviation industry. In order to achieve this, we need urgent action now,” Cotton added.
IATA and ITF also noted the aviation industry’s overwhelming contribution in helping alleviate the COVID-19 crisis by keeping supply chains open and repatriating citizens. Aviation professionals have been volunteering on the front line to assist medical services in the fight against COVID-19.