The New Times.
The development was announced during the global organisation’s latest forecast published on April, 22.
The “most substantial reduction in passenger numbers,” the United Nations agency said in a statement, “is expected to be in Europe, especially during its peak summer travel season, followed by the Asia-Pacific.”
“Europe and the Asia-Pacific will be hardest hit by the capacity and revenue impacts, followed by North America” similarly “the most substantial reduction in passenger numbers is expected to be in Europe, especially during its peak summer travel season, followed by the Asia-Pacific” reads part of the statement.
Additionally, airline capacity could also be significantly slashed, resulting in a drop in airline revenues in the first months of the year by as much as $160-256 billion.
The projections are worse than the organisation’s initial estimates in February, where the airline industry was estimated to face a $4-5 billion drop in revenue.
The development comes at a time when the African airline industry is mulling ways to increase chances of post COVID-19 recovery and survival.
Among the best chances of remaining relevant is changing some of their fleet from passenger to cargo planes to respond to the growing demand.
This could among other things see the industry generate revenue during the COVID-19 containment period.
For instance, the national carrier, RwandAir operates cargo flights to three global destinations to support exports as well as imports of essential goods.
The main destinations to be served include Brussels (Belgium), London (United Kingdom) and Guangzhou (China).
Brussels and London are aimed at supporting exports to Europe while Guangzhou will allow access to medical supplies and other essentials required in the country.
To further mitigate the COVID-19 the outbreak, the government on March 20, halted commercial passenger flights, including the national carrier RwandAir for an initial period of 30 days.
However, cargo and emergency flights continue to operate, to allow for the country to continue getting the necessary supplies, according to the directive.
Before suspending its passenger flights, RwandAir was operating 29 destinations across Africa, Europe and Asia.
25,592 total views, 1 views today