Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora
Airlines Latin American and Caribbean lose about $15 billion in revenue in 2020 by closing borders, and mass cancellation of flights as a result of the measures imposed by countries to contain the outbreak of coronavirus, said Regional Vice President for the Americas of the International Air Transport Association (THERE IT IS) for its acronym in English, Peter Cerdá.
"If you look at airlines based in Latin America and the Caribbean revenue losses equivalent to 15 billion and reduced demand (passenger) of the 41%, That compared to 2019 ", He said Monday during a virtual press conference.
These projections may vary according to the time the restrictions extend to air transport, whose impact worldwide IATA has estimated at $252 billion for the entire industry this year, according Cerdá.
Cerda said that given that the situation is "critical" is vital that governments establish measures and economic packages to support airlines following countries like the United States, Brazil, and Colombia to the possibility that some bankrupt for lack of liquidity.
"... it is a possibility the longer the global crisis will spread the greatest risk there is that airlines will not have the cash they need to sustain the operation stop ...", said the executive.
He added that at the beginning of 2020 most airlines have liquidity for two to three months, and that "very few companies have a safe that can hold more than six months an operation completely stopped ..."
Usually, IATA estimates "that the aviation industry worldwide could suffer a severe liquidity crisis up 61,000 million in the second quarter ", said Peter Cerdá.
Cerda said the spread of the COVID-19 has virtually paralyzed air traffic worldwide, presenting an unprecedented challenge for aviation, tourism and trade.
They seek support from the Panamanian government
IATA estimated that as a result of the pandemic revenues in the sector will fall over Panama $700 million 2020 compared to the previous year, which it is a hard blow to the country whose air connectivity is vital for economic growth.
According to forecasts as a result of the crisis of the COVID-19, the contribution of the sector to the GDP of Panama could lose some 4,600 millions of dollars, and put at risk up 12,000 direct jobs and 126,000 indirect.
In that context, The executive said that while airlines proactively adopted emergency measures to reduce the economic impact on their companies, the seriousness of the situation makes it imperative the support of the government to safeguard the liquidity that allows airlines to survive the crisis.
"Without immediate relief measures, airlines operating in Panama today will not be able to continue its operations in the above-crisis levels, or in the worst case, could cease to exist altogether ... ", said Cerdá.
Air transport is one of the cornerstones of the economy of Panama, supporting a value chain that includes SMEs, and multinational corporations, and a variety of sectors such as hotels and tourist facilities.
In fact, the air transport industry in Panama brings 8,500 million to the GDP of the country and holds a 238,000 direct jobs and indirect.