About 91,380 aviation workers are at risk of losing their jobs following the rising cases of the epedmic coronavirus that hit the country and crippled the aviation sector with the ban on flight operations in the last few weeks.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the effect of the pandemic has led to colossal revenue losses in Nigeria with about 91,380 jobs in the nation’s aviation industry on the line.
Airlines are fighting for survival in every corner of the world as air travel restrictions and evaporating demand mean that aside from the few cargoes, there is almost no passenger business except for evacuation of citizens done by several governments.
IATA noted that failure of governments to address the aviation sector crisis may lead to more perilous economic times, adding that airlines have demonstrated their value in economic and social development and governments needed to prioritise them with significant rescue packages.
According to IATA specific analysis of the effects of COVID-19 on airline operations, Nigeria would record 3.5 million fewer passengers, resulting in a $ 0.76bn revenue loss, risking 91,380 jobs and $0.65bn in contribution to the country’s economy.
Meanwhile, IATA earlier predicted that the disruption of air travel operations due to the continued spread of coronavirus would cost Nigeria’s aviation industry over $434 million in revenue, 22,200 jobs and approximately 2.2 million passengers up from the 853,000 losses in passenger volumes and $170 million loss in base revenue projected in early March.
However, IATA has urged for an urgent action from the government to provide financial relief to airlines as the latest scenario for potential revenue loss by carriers, especially in Africa reached $4bn.
According to IATA “This translates into a drop of industry revenues of 32 percent for Africa for 2020 as compared to 2019″.
The association noted that to minimise the broad damage that the losses would have across African economies, it was vital that governments stepped up their efforts to aid the industry.
IATA said, “Many governments in the region have committed to provide relief from the effect of COVID-19. Some have already taken direct action to support aviation but more help is needed. IATA is calling for a mixture of direct financial support, loans, loan guarantees, support for the corporate bond market and tax relief.”
“The air transport industry is an economic engine, supporting up to 8.6 million jobs across Africa and the Middle East and $186bn in the GDP. Every job created in the aviation industry supports another 24 jobs in the wider economy. Governments must recognise the vital importance of the air transport industry, and that support is urgently needed.”