The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has declared that African airlines have lost $4.4 billion in revenue to Coronavirus as of March 11, 2020.
Multiple flights have been cancelled or temporarily suspended across Africa as airlines struggle to cope with falling demand following the spread of coronavirus.
IATA had recently warned that Nigeria was at the risk of losing 2.2 million overseas-bound passengers and $434 million revenue, if the coronavirus spread continues to escalate.
IATA, in a market analysis released, has appealed to governments in Africa and the Middle East, to provide emergency support to airlines as they fight for survival due to the evaporation of air travel demand as a result of the covid-19 crisis.
IATA had published on March 5, the disruptions from COVID-19 could result in 853,000 loss in passenger volumes and $170 million loss in base revenues in Nigeria.
According to the association, the disruptions to air travel could also put at risk over 22,200 jobs in the country. If the situation spreads further, approximately 2.2 million passengers and $434 million of revenues could be lost.
IATA’s Regional Director for Advocacy and Strategic relations in Africa, Adefunke Adeyemi, said passenger demand for Africa had reduced significantly.
“International bookings in Africa went down by 20 per cent in March and April, while domestic bookings have fallen by about 15 per cent in March and 25 per cent in April”, according to data from IATA.
“Not as many passengers are traveling to and from within Africa because of the outbreak. In terms of the impact on the aviation industry, the numbers we released show Africa taking a hit in terms of revenue,” Adeyemi said.
IATA, while saying the virus had resulted in global airlines losing $200 billion added that on January 30, African airlines made a series of announcements about suspending services to China.