Kamel Al-Awadi, Regional Vice President of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said that canceling flights due to “random” decisions from governments and countries, and the closure of airports and flights in certain countries, due to fears of the Omicron mutant of the Corona virus, caused confusion for the airline and reservations sector.
In an interview with Al-Arabiya, he stressed that the rate of infection spread on the plane is very low, because the cabin of the plane is a low-risk environment, which is due to the preventive measures by airlines.
David Powell was the chief medical advisor for airlines in the world, he said Risk of infection with “Omicron” Multiply 3 times on board.
Al-Awadi indicated that the sector’s losses for 2022 will be approximately $12 billion, but with the closure of the borders by governments as a “ill-thought-out” precautionary decision, the sector will incur new and large losses, and added: “We are studying the situation, especially during the first three months, and the losses will be higher than $12 billion and it will be a crisis for airlines.”
On government support, he said that, in general, it was not enough, so airlines were forced to take loans or ease operations for lack of liquidity, and he continued: “We hope that governments will review the situation of companies and consider providing support, whether through low-interest loans or direct support, as the sector is now in a major crisis. “.
He indicated that they expect the sector to incur total losses of 52 billion dollars, although it was calculated on the basis of not confronting a new mutation.
He revealed that the movement of travel in 2021 recorded 2.5 billion passengers, compared to almost double the number in 2019, i.e. 4.5 billion passengers.
As for the shipping sector, it performed well, with an increase of about 8% over 2019, with revenues of $175 billion.
The Regional Vice President of the International Air Transport Association “IATA” stated that there is a recovery phase in the local markets in Saudi Arabia, America and China, which are countries that have a strong domestic market, while international travel faces great challenges. “We expect a recovery of only 44% in 2022,” he said.